Toccoa Considering Possible Extended Stay Hotel Ordinance

Toccoa officials are looking at the possibility of implementing an ordinance to regulate extended stay hotel and motel establishments in the city.

The city has budgeted a 50 percent drop in hotel and motel tax collections and Toccoa City Manager Billy Morse said one of the main reasons for the drop is that the city’s hotels and motels have become de facto extended stay lodging facilities.

Morse said a hotel or motel does not pay tax on the room once a person has stayed in the room over a certain number of days based on the hotel/motel tax laws.

“Because it is not considered a motel anymore, it is considered more like an apartment complex and apartments do not pay those kind of taxes, so our revenues have dropped considerably based on that,” said Morse.

In addition to the drop in revenue, Morse said the extended stay nature of some of the hotels and motels in Toccoa are causing other issues.

“The nature of the issues that are generated in an extended stay establishment keeps our police department busy, keeps our code enforcement department busy and there are activities that go on at those places that we do not find acceptable in our community,” said Morse.

With that in mind, Morse said the city has looked into what options it has to regulate extended stay hotels and motels moving forward.

He said the city has found ordinances in other cities that might serve as a guide for Toccoa.

“We have an in-house committee that met and surveyed other communities,” said Morse. “They have gotten information from other communities and created a sample ordinance.”

Morse said the city is currently putting together that draft ordinance for possible future consideration by the Toccoa City Commission.