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Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
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Rushford reviews lodging tax; sets preliminary levy


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The city of Rushford will be reviewing the expenditure of funds raised by the three percent lodging tax currently in place. Spurred by input from new, local motel owners John and Eileen Loken, the effort will be geared towards further clarification of how funds should be spent at greatest benefit to lodging owners and operators.

The Lokens, who operate the recently opened Loken’s Rushford Inn, were unaware of the lodging tax requirement during the three-year development process of the motel and only became aware following a reminder notice sent by the city August 7. A history of the tax as well of a copy of the ordinance was provided to Loken’s following contact, but the issue has left the couple looking for how to adjust their budget accordingly.

“It would have been a vital piece to know,” noted Eileen Loken. Looking at current room rates, the Lokens estimate a $2.40-2.70 increase per room per day and maintain that it hinders their ability to keep rates low. “We’ve already discovered that small town equates to low price. It’s hard to start a new business, and then the road project, then this. We understand lodging tax and think it’s good, but we think 3 percent is high. We want a discussion and are seeking information about what it’s used for.”

Three percent is the maximum allowed within the state and three other Rushford lodging sites are currently paying the tax; the Bestemor, Meadows Inn B&B, and the Windswept Inn. The only lodging not paying the tax within the city are campgrounds. The city maintains that the reason campgrounds were exempted from the definition of lodging and the tax was because at the time the ordinance was put in place, the only campground was city-owned. Now, Bluffview Campground, originally setup as a mobile home park, currently has a number of long-term campers and some transient camping.

“Don’t you think it should be fair across the board?” questioned John Loken, excusing himself for putting the other lodging operators, who weren’t present on the spot. “Do it right. It’s a great benefit, but it’s got to be across the board.”

The Lokens have suggested having all lodging operators part of the discussion. “We have some ideas to assist with lodging tax usage, with things that help with lodging. But, we want it to be managed, accountable, and transparent; to get it moving in the right direction,” added Eileen Loken.

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Rushford looking at budget limits; future development

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Sep 1st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

In September, the Rushford City Council will need to certify the maximum levy to the county and city staff is wasting no time working out the limitations and goals of the 2015 budget. For four years, the city has seen a 0 percent increase in the lev ..... 
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Rushford moves lighting project, in-city hunting forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 15th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Taking advantage of timing and funding, the Rushford Municipal Electric Commission and the city are moving forward with a project to update all lighting along the Highway 43 corridor. With lighting being temporarily removed for the Highway 43 Projec ..... 
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Rushford considers managed hunting within city limits

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The issue of deer population control in Rushford has once again been brought to the forefront of council discussions. The council had reviewed options in 2012 and 2013 due to the damage inflicted on vegetation and hazards to traffic. In 2013, the co ..... 
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Rushford EDA revamps forbearance terms

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jul 18th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

There’s no denying that the Economic Development Authority’s revolving loan fund has done great things for Rushford’s economic growth. At least two past audits have garnered praise for its efforts. Still, there is room for improvement, as note ..... 
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Rushford grabs opportunity during project

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 27th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

With the Highway 43 Project slated to begin Monday, June 30, the Rushford Electric Commission is considering expanding lighting upgrades along the highway corridor. The lighting will be temporarily removed for the project, so the commission will sei ..... 
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Rushford preps for Highway 43 project, deals with illegal dumping

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 13th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

Indications of the impending road project are starting to become noticeable and the city is making strides to make sure that local traffic and visitors know that the city businesses are open. Large construction signs bearing “Road Closed” warnin ..... 
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Rushford approves Hwy. 43 bidder, moves financing forward

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, May 30th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The start of the anticipated Highway 43 project through the heart of downtown Rushford is drawing closer. Sealed bids were opened May 22 and the bid was awarded May 27 to McHugh Excavating of Onalaska, Wis. in the amount of $2,969,218. The amount di ..... 
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“Continued, slow and steady improvement” for Rushford funds

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, May 19th, 2014
Posted in Rushford Government

The city received their annual audit report at the Monday, May 12 meeting from Smith Schafer & Associates and it appears the city is moving in the right direction. There has been no increase in the tax levy in the last three years and the city has ..... 
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