Resort owner sells property, ends challenge to local tourism tax

INDIAN RIVER, Mich. (AP) - A lawsuit that could have had consequences for Michigan tourism promotion programs has been dropped after a resort owner sold his property.

George Galbraith was challenging a 5 percent lodging tax that supports a tourism bureau in Cheboygan County. The money supports a website that promotes nine motels or resorts, but Galbraith said he didn't need the publicity.

He claimed the tax violated his First Amendment rights. But the lawsuit, only a few months old, is dead now that Galbraith has sold his property, The Landings in Indian River.

Galbraith's lawyer, Derk Wilcox of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, said last Thursday that he'd like to file another case.

State law allows tourism agencies to levy a tax if lodging owners vote and agree. More than 50 around Michigan collect it.

Published: Mon, Oct 10, 2016