Letter to the Editor: Name the Room Tax Cheats

Thank you for telling us about the scofflaws in Door County who fail to comply with rules that require a permit to rent lodging to tourists and who, moreover, fail to collect or turn over a 5.5 percent room tax that supports our tourism industry (“Commission Cracks Down on Room Tax Cheats,” volume 23, issue 4)

To be fair, only a handful of the county’s hospitality providers fail to collect the tax; an even smaller number fail to remit those tax receipts to tourist entities. The few cheats need to be exposed.

The scofflaws are being tracked down by the consumer-oriented Door County Tourism Zone Commission. It’s a long name for a small regulatory body, but its work is vital to collecting funds that underwrite advertising and other promotional activities aimed at bringing visitors here.

The Tourism Zone is having success, too, as illustrated by a Door County Circuit Court judgment in 2016 of $25,000 against an unnamed business in the Town of Gibraltar that underreported its room tax revenues.

Your story, important as it is, reads like a press release, likely one issued by the Tourism Commission itself. The organization probably does not want to name names, but it should, and so should the Peninsula Pulse, as one would expect from watchdog journalism.

To improve the Tourism Zone’s effectiveness and bolster its authority, these cheats should be fully identified and questioned for stiffing both tourism officials and the law-abiding members of the hospitality community.

G. Michael Killenberg

Jacksonport, Wis.