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Decatur lodging taxes hit record

Decatur hotels generated a record amount in lodging taxes for the 2006-07 fiscal year and had the second highest yearly percentage increase since 2001.

The city collected $857,945 from October 2006 to September 2007, which was a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year.

The collection was almost $191,000 more than the city collected in 2001-02, the earliest year records are readily available.

The highest increase from one year to the next was in 2004-05, when lodging tax collections increased 12 percent. That year, hotels benefited from a number of industrial projects, including Browns Ferry Nuclear Plantís restart of a reactor, which brought in construction workers.

The past year has seen an economic boom from fishing and soccer tournaments.

The record amount also is a result of hotels being able to charge higher room prices, said Tami Reist, president of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The city gives 75 percent of the lodging taxes to the bureau for its operating expenses and puts the remaining 25 percent in the general fund.

Paul Huggins

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