Amana Colonies seeks hotel-motel tax revenue

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DES MOINES — Legislation to allow the Amana Colonies to raise money from a hotel-motel tax was approved 21-3 on Monday by the Iowa House Ways and Means Committee.

The legislative change would allow the Amana Colonies to raise revenue to market the area, which is a tourist destination.

In the past, Iowa County, where the Colonies are located, has shared as much as half the revenue from its 7 percent hotel-motel tax. However, in two of the past three years, the county supervisors have zeroed out that appropriation and directed only $25,000 to the Amana Colonies the other year, according to Rep. Dawn Pettengill, R-Mount Auburn.

Iowa law allows cities and counties to impose a hotel-motel tax of up to 7 percent on rented lodging. House File 186 would extend that authority to land use districts. The Amana Colonies is the state’s only land use district.

Iowa County’s 7 percent hotel-motel tax generated $127,000 for the county in fiscal years 2015 and 2016, according to the Legislative Services Agency. A portion of that was from lodging within the Amana Colonies.

The Amana Colonies already levies a property tax of 27 cents per $1,000 of value on property that is not tillable farmland, pastureland, timber pasture or forestland. It is expected to generate $26,000 this fiscal year.

If the Amana Colonies was allowed to capture its portion of the hotel-motel tax revenue, it could realize as much as $63,000 based on last year’s lodging numbers, Pettengill said.

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