If the county commission really needs a toll for infrastructure improvements on St. Simons Island, then please impose it by increasing and more thoroughly enforcing the bed tax paid by hotels and short-term rental real estate owners.

The car toll would admittedly bring in more revenue, but it requires much more upfront cost. It will surely create traffic problems, and we will be stuck with it forever regardless of our future needs or wants.

An upgrade of the tax (toll) paid by vacationers for their overnight lodgings would increase revenues without burdening county residents. This sales and use tax is already paid by hotels and conscientious short term rental property owners, but it should be increased and enforced so that any property used primarily as a vacation rental will surely be subjected to the tax.

Glynn County could publish the list (or add it to the searchable GIS property map) of tax-compliant, paying rental properties and owners. Anyone living beside one of these properties and who notices an ever-changing weekend parade of out-of-town SUVs in the driveway will at least know if the tax (toll) is being paid.

If taxing by rental dollar amount is too difficult, then base it on square footage or property valuation. Not as much revenue as a causeway toll, but a lot easier and more focused.

James Butler

St. Simons Island

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