The town of Elon joined the Alamance County Municipal Tourism Development Authority after the town council voted unanimously in a meeting on Feb. 14 to levy a local occupancy tax on hotels with a rate of up to 3%

The Alamance County Municipal Tourism Development Authority is designed to help increase tourism in the Alamance County area, mostly through advertising projects and events to help boost the economy in each town in the Authority. The Inn at Elon is the only hotel affected by the new tax — being the only hotel in the town of Elon. 

According to the information released in the Feb. 14 meeting, Elon is one of four towns with the option of levying this tax, but so far, Elon is the second to vote to enact the tax. Burlington is set to enact the tax as well, and Graham and Mebane are waiting to see how the tax affects both Elon and Burlington before voting it through. 

Richard Roedner, Elon town manager, is in support of the new tax, and said he believed  it could have a lot of benefits. 

“It will broaden our capacity to market the community, which will hopefully lead to benefits to our local businesses,” Roedner said. 

In an article from earlier this month about the town of Elon staff vacancies, Roedner said he believed the revenue of Elon could be improved by the new tax.

“Over 40% of the total value of the town, we get no tax revenue from. That's a really high percentage for a municipality, and it makes it difficult to stay in league with communities that are larger than you and that have more financial resources available to them,” Roedner said.

The tax will be put into place on July 1 and will cement the beginning of Elon being in the Alamance County Municipal Tourism Authority, according to Roedner. He said the Authority can help Elon continue to boost local events and turnout. 

“This type of dedicated revenue will help us to better advertise our programs and market the town of Elon. Bringing more customers to town is hoped to benefit our local hotels, as well as other local businesses,” Roedner said. 

Owen Covington, university spokesman, said he felt this could be positive for the town.

“Elon University is active in promoting travel and tourism in the area and is one of the many entities in Alamance County that help bring people to the area and the region,” Covington said. “An increased emphasis on and resources for promoting tourism in Alamance County and in Elon could have a positive impact on our community.”