Sample Tax Reform Letters to the Editor

Word County: 215

Dear Editor,

This summer, people from across America and around the world will enjoy the entertainment and attractions that Kentucky has to offer. But many Kentuckians do not realize the tremendous economic benefits those visitors provide for our state.

New data was recently released on the Commonwealth’s travel industry economic impact. It is the third largest revenue-producing industry in the state, bringing in $14.5 billion each year and accounting for 10 percent of all jobs in Kentucky. Despite all that the industry does for the Commonwealth, only one source of statewide tourism marketing funds exists: the one percent transient room tax.

A statewide 1% hotel tax serves as the only source of funding for marketing Kentucky done by the Kentucky Department of Tourism. Cities that attract overnight travelers benefit greatly from the local hotel room tax and the tourism marleting it suppoorts. Meanwhile, some smaller cities with fewer lodging options rely on another source of revenue—the restaurant tax—to attract more visitors. Ultimately, these funds help to pour revenue back into our local and state economies.

Tourism advertising is imperative to the growth and success of Kentucky. Our travel industry is one of the largest economic generators in the state, and I urge Kentucky’s legislators to protect the funding sources that allow for it to flourish.

Word Count: 163

Dear Editor,

Kentucky’s travel industry, a major revenue generator for the state, remains at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to tourism marketing funds. The Commonwealth ranks 28th nationwide in state tourism advertising funding and is near the bottom in the southeast.

Last year, the tourism industry had a $14.5 billion economic impact in our state. Imagine how much greater of an impact this sector could have with sufficient funding.

Kentucky’s tourism funding is limited to transiet room taxes and in some smaller cities a restaurant tax. With such narrow sources of funding, Kentucky is fighting a challenging battle with other states to attract tourists.

If we cut these funds, all Kentuckians will be affected—and the communities that are already struggling the most will be hit the hardest.

That’s why I urge our legislators to protect the tourism industry’s already limited funding sources, and to prevent further changes to the the tourism funding tax structures that help bring visitors to cities all across Kentucky.

Word Count: 176

Dear Editor,

If we want Kentucky to thrive, we must protect and support the sources funding the state’s travel industry. Each year, visitor spending generates $1.53 billion in state and local taxes. That’s enough revenue to save Kentucky taxpayers an average of $1,200 per household. Sadly, despite the travel industry’s tremendous economic benefits, Kentucky’s tourism advertising budget remains one of the lowest in the region.

Instead of taking steps to build up tourism in Kentucky, some have suggested altering the industry’s already limited funding sources—the restaurant tax, in particular. This tax generates enough revenue for smaller communities to attract visitors and invest in local attractions. Taking this money away from these communities would be detrimental to those cities that are already struggling.

We need to protect—not alter—the sources providing the limited funds that make Kentucky’s travel industry the third largest revenue producer in the state. We must make prospective tourists aware of all Kentucky has to offer, and I strongly encourage our legislators to take steps to ensure the tourism sector’s advertising budget remains intact.