MOBILE, Ala. –- Despite the strong backing of Mayor Michael Dow, a proposed 3% car rental tax went down to defeat Oct. 1 after failing to attract enough support from city council members. The proposed tax would have funded marketing efforts by the Mobile Area Sports Commission.
As a budget item, the proposed tax needed at least five council member votes to pass. But the ordinance drew only four. New council members Ben Books, Connie Hudson and Stephen Nodine all voted against the tax.
Mayor Dow had argued that the tax would benefit the car rental industry in the long term by attracting sporting events that would, in turn, draw more tourists. "We’re asking the industry to partner with us like the hotels have so we can have a little more tax revenue to go out and market to sporting events," he told Auto Rental News in an interview prior to the city council vote.