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Drive right up to sign the downtown Wichita petition

November 21, 2011 J

You have probably heard by now that Americans for Prosperity’s Wichita chapter is working with other local groups to let voters decide whether to allow the downtown Ambassador Hotel to keep a large portion of the special guest tax it charges for its own use.

Our petition efforts are on-going, and we have until the first week of December to gather the needed signatures. Registered voters who put their names on the petition are telling the city council that they support a ballot measure asking Wichita residents if the city should refund 75% of the hotel’s guest tax back to the hotel for its own use.

We will be hosting a “drive-thru” petition signing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday (Nov. 25-27). You’ll find us at the Wichita Inn East (8220 E. Kellogg Dr.) and Best Western Airport Inn (6815 W. Kellogg/US-54). Simply drive up to these hotels and our volunteers will bring a petition to your window for you to sign. It’s just that simple.

We believe refunding 75% of the hotel’s guest tax just turns the idea of taxation on its head. Taxation is a public function the government uses to pay for public services – public safety, schools and infrastructure. In this case, the city is allowing a private developer to use a public function for its own purposes.

Additionally, this proposal is not compatible with current city policy. According to the Tourism and Convention Fund in the city’s budget, the goal of the guest tax is to “support tourism and convention, infrastructure, and promotion of the City.” Its outlined priorities are to be “debt service for tourism and convention facilities, operational deficit subsidies, and care and maintenance of Century II.” Letting this hotel keep the majority of the guest tax is a radical departure from the city’s policy requiring most hotels to submit their taxes to the city for the aforementioned purposes.

You can learn more about this effort by visiting dtwichita.com. To sign the petition, contact AFP Wichita volunteer coordinator John Todd at john@johntodd.net or 316-312-7335.

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