letters to the editor

Patel backs Markli for mayor; praises anti-hotel tax stance, fighting ‘for what is right’

As a hotel owner/operator and resident of Farragut since 1989, I ask you to join myself and the Farragut area hotels in supporting Bob Markli in the upcoming mayoral election.

Mr. Markli is a successful businessman that is known, respected and trusted by the business and development communities. He has also served the Town in various capacities for a total of over 21 years on different positions, and has been a Farragut resident for over 30 years.

Bob is also the only running candidate that has opposed the twice-failed hotel tax proposed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The late beloved visionary, Ralph McGill, also sided with Bob Markli in defeating this hotel tax. This shows that he is fiscally conservative.

He has truly taken the time to diligently research the effects, both positive and negative, and understands why all Farragut hotels oppose this tax.

He understands that not only will a tax have a negative effect on the overall sales tax revenue generated by removing Farragut’s current competitive advantage over other municipalities that do impose a hotel tax, but that Farragut is not ready to become the next Pigeon Forge-type destination, with the added traffic congestion and increased population to our Town facilities and streets.

Instead, he understands that the Town of Farragut is unique, and has flourished because it is able to capitalize from surrounding destinations, such as Oak Ridge, Pigeon Forge and Knoxville.

He has a vision to harness this advantage and use this as a strength to thoughtfully grow tourism, and make it a quiet, safe and charming destination for guests to stay in Farragut.

While it would seem that hotels would be all in for a tax that would serve to increase tourism to the Town, the hotels are the experts in their business, and understand that imposing a tax on guests traveling to the Town does not necessarily always translate to increased tourism in the real world.

The hotels have invested over $40 million dollars into this economy, and annually already generate enormous sales tax revenue for the Town of Farragut that assists with funding infrastructure, schools and public amenities. Bob understands that we know our business, and that our experience and understanding of tourism in Farragut has been gained over decades of operations and sales efforts and did not come overnight.

Bob has also been quick to squash misconceptions that have been made regarding a hotel tax being needed because Farragut does not currently have a property tax, and that the Hall Tax from the state is going away in the near future.

This is simply not true, and the fact is, that any tourism tax would be required by state law to be allocated strictly towards tourism efforts, and would have no bearing on whether the Town was in need or not of a property tax or funding to fill a void in the Hall Tax.

Bob Markli is a man that will truly listen to the residents of this Town. Based on his willingness and determination to fight for what is right, we ask you to vote for Alderman Bob Markli.

Amit Patel

Farragut hotels