Tourists Could See Price Increases in McDonald County - KOAM TV 7

Tourists Could See Price Increases in McDonald County


Big Elk Floats and Camping sees thousands of tourists coming through McDoanld county. 

"A typical Saturday, we could have 13 to 18-hundred people go down the river," Big Elk owner Pat Tinsley said. He worries that number would drop if the prices go up for tourists. 

"There's many rivers around," Tinsley said. "Illinois River, the Current River, Buffalo River. People just go to another river if we're basically pricing ourselves out of the market."

A bill authored by Representative Bill Lant looks to add a 5% surcharge to rent canoes, kayaks, or any other floatation device; as well as the nightly cost of renting a hotel, motel, or cabin. That's on top of existing taxes and fees. 

"This is what we consider a necessary tax to keep it safe for everyone," Lant said. 

The funds would go towards a  "County Emergency and Public Safety Services Surcharge Fund" to pay for emergency services including ambulance, police patrols, and jail maintenance. 

The McDoanld County sheriff said in an email, additional deputies and jailers are needed during increased tourism.  But added that the local Canoe Association helps pay deputies for patrolling the river, where the patrols are needed. 

"The camp grounds have agreed to contribute to a fund," Lant said. "But the fund is woefully short of matching the cost."

"It is certainly at least well funded if not over-funded," Tinsley said. 

Tinsley believes if the extra money is needed, the county should be asking local voters and businesses whether they are willing to contribute rather than making customers pay.  

"We're trying to increase tourism to the county," Tinsley said. "And everybody feels like this increased tax would detour that."

HB 36 is currently in committee. If approved by the house and senate, it would still be subject to a public vote.

Tim Spears
FOX 14 News Anchor, Reporter

In September 2014, Tim Spears joined KOAM as a Reporter. Tim previously worked at 95.1FM (Mike FM) and was a Sports Producer at PSU. Young Timothy was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and was raised in Kansas City, MO area.


Hard-luck fan of every Atlanta sports franchises

Self-proclaimed karaoke champion

Unashamed consumer of reality television

Received an athletic scholarship for boxing through the Kansas City Golden Gloves

Always welcomes baked gifts

Follow Tim:
On Facebook
On Twitter

Tim Spears:
417.624.0233 or 620.231.0400
tspears (at) koamtv.com

Powered by Frankly

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.