CIRCLEVILLE — A couple of events on city streets later this year and a proposal to increase entities affected by the bed tax were discussed by City Council members during the judicial committee meeting this week.

Nathan Wilson, Pickaway County Visitors Bureau, asked the city to modify a single line of their existing agreement to modify the bed tax to include all properties where people stay for less than 30 days concurrently no matter the number of rooms. Under current law, only places with five or more rooms had the tax applied.

Wilson said the measure was done to capture the taxes on homes and rooms that are used for Arbo or AirBnB and other rental entities outside large hotels.

“There are rapid changes to the travel and tourism industry, especially coming out of COVID specifically and because of that there’s been an emergence of short term rentals, things like AirBnB and Arbo rentals,” Wilson said. “So as I’ve worked with visitors bureaus in surrounding areas that these are expanding in our locality. We’ve had probably 8 to 10 pop up here in Pickaway County and several are in Circleville.”

Wilson said using the existing agreement, he’s going to go to each local government to make the change. Council member Jeff Hallinin asked if the city has anything to do with the bed tax.

“The city auditor handles our collections and luckily Circleville is one of the areas where that goes very smoothly,” Wilson said. “As the process goes forward, there are a lot of people who get into this business and don’t know the process so we may rely on the city to help convey it, just as we would with a hotel. We’ve been doing what we can to make sure everyone is informed.”

Wilson said in exchange, they’re offering additional marketing to folks as part of the tax that’s collected.

“It’s not quite an adversarial relationship where we’re just trying to collect that tax; we’re also offering a benefit to it,” he said.

The committee did not vote on any legislation but has instructed the law director to create an ordinance for City Council to approve as soon as it’s ready.

In addition to Wilson’s presentation, the committee also forwarded on to City Council two pieces of routine legislation: One that would allow Uptown Circleville to use city streets for the 3 on 3 basketball event this summer and another to allow the Circleville Pumpkin Show to use the city streets in October. The two pieces of legislation will be read on May 17.

Barry Keller, council president, who also serves as vice president of the Circleville Pumpkin show, said the streets would close at 4 p.m. on Saturday instead of 8 p.m. previously, which still allows local businesses a full day of business.

“Last year we had a new vendor and had a lot of problems and this year we’re going with a local person and they’ve agreed that 4 p.m. is a sufficient time for them to set up so we’ve agreed to close the streets at that time,” Keller said.

Lastly, council discussed an application for the Board of Zoning Appeals and the process for approving applicants. The process was implemented at the end of March following City Council’s retreat.

A couple council members expressed their frustration for the current application being delayed for so long, and after a lengthy discussion Hallinin said he’d reach out to the candidate to schedule an interview for the next committee meeting.

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