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Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama – Mayor Robert Craft of Gulf Shores and Mayor Tony Kennon of Orange Beach are united in their consideration of a 2% increase in lodging tax to fund critical infrastructure improvements and cleanup for Alabama’s beaches.
“Transportation improvements are needed to solve challenges affecting us all. Investing in our infrastructure will help to ensure the sustainability of our vital tourism economy and improve the quality of life of our residents,” states Mayor Craft. Mayor Kennon adds, “As it becomes more difficult to obtain federal and state infrastructure dollars, it has become apparent to us that matching monies are needed. Hurricane Harvey has just shown us that a storm can pop up very quickly in the Gulf with devastating effects, thus reinforcing the need for evacuation infrastructure for the beaches of Alabama.”
Lodging tax in the Cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is currently set at a total of 11%. This is equal to or lower than other coastal destinations on the Upper Gulf Coast. In 2016, over 6.1 million visitors chose the Alabama Gulf Coast as their family beach destination. This record growth brings its own challenges related to demands placed on traffic and infrastructure affecting everyone in Baldwin County. According to both mayors, this initiative will be discussed in upcoming city council meetings, respectively.