Southside voters overwhelmingly approve hotel tax to jumpstart growth

  It began as an idea in the mind of former Senator Charles D. Jones and has been fought over and over for 15 years, but the Southside voters gave overwhelming approval of the SEDD hotel tax in balloting Saturday night.

   Complete but unofficial returns from Saturday balloting showed the SEDD tax was approved by voters by 82 percent. There were 1,210 votes in favor of the tax and only 265 opposed to the tax.

   Passage of the tax means hotels in South Monroe will begin to charge an extra 2% room tax on guests beginning January 1st. That tax money will go to a special taxing district approved by the state called the Southside Economic Development District. It is operated by a board of commissioners. Charles Theus is its executive director.

   The tax is expected to generate about


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