Bed Tax in Franklin County

If you love vacationing along the forgotten coast in Franklin County, you may need to bring more money on your next trip because a proposed bed tax will go before voters soon. The reason isn't just to tax visitors, but to help cleanup after them.

It's the beautiful scenery on St. George Island after a busy weekend. Vacationers come to the coast to escape the city, but once they leave their trash stays behind, a sight many locals complain about.

“I've lived here 20 years. Every spring it's tough for county to get going with picking up garbage. Even the county acknowledges the problem,” says David Volk, a St. George Island resident.

“The tourists come down and use our infrastructure but they don't support any of that,” says Alan Pierce, Franklin County Director of Admin Services.

Now, Pierce says the sluggish system may get a boost of energy if a proposed bed tax is passed by voters. A two percent levy on visitors would generate about a half million dollars in one year and the county says that money would go strait to Parks and Recreation.

“It's something we need. I'm glad we're taking it to the people for a vote, and I hope it passes,” says Bevin Putnal, Franklin County Commissioner.

The idea is popular among many locals too who say they're tired of looking at the mess left behind from a weekend of fun in the sun. The bed tax referendum goes before voters in November. If passed, 60 percent of the funds will go to beach and park cleanup, while 40 percent will go to tourist events.