Indiana group seeks tax increase to repair presidential home

The group that oversees an Indiana home of the nation's ninth president is pushing for legislation that would increase the local innkeeper's tax rate to fund the mansion's repairs.

Posted: Feb 4, 2019 9:30 AM

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — The group that oversees an Indiana home of the nation's ninth president is pushing for legislation that would increase the local innkeeper's tax rate to fund the mansion's repairs.

The Grouseland Foundation is looking for funds to help repair the Grouseland house in Vincennes, where William Henry Harrison lived while he was governor of the Indiana Territory, The Sun-Commercial reported . Harrison was elected U.S. president in 1840.

The foundation is seeking a one-point increase on the innkeeper's tax. It will generate $40,000 to $60,000 annually, which is about 30 percent of Grouseland's annual budget, said Lisa Ice-Jones, the foundation's director.

"What this would do is provide us with a baseline for restoration and preservation of the building," Ice-Jones said. "The (mansion) needs a lot of upgrades and improvements."

The innkeeper's tax is currently set to about five cents on the dollar and is collected by local hotels. The funds go to the Vincennes Tourism Bureau, which uses the money to promote locations in the county.

The Knox County Tourism Commission and the tourism bureau are opposing the proposal. The bureau said it's concerned that the effort will lead to other local tourism spots seeking more funds.

"There are seven major museums/attractions in our area," said Shyla Beam, the bureau's executive director. "If Grouseland gets a dedicated funding source of 1 percent, surely the other attractions will be asking for their part of the pie."

Beam is also concerned that local businesses will pass on the increased fee to their visitors by increasing room rates, which could ultimately discourage visitors.

"This impacts the competitiveness of our hotels within our market," Beam said.

Ice-Jones emphasized the site's historical importance.

"Grouseland is important to the entire state of Indiana," she said. "Grouseland was the gateway to statehood. And it's a presidential site."

The home, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Evansville, was completed in 1804.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34830

Reported Deaths: 2143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9900581
Lake3639190
Allen166269
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph128634
Hendricks117171
Hamilton116293
Johnson1115109
Madison59359
Porter54328
Bartholomew51535
Clark50541
LaPorte43824
Howard41528
Tippecanoe4143
Jackson3921
Delaware38539
Shelby37322
Hancock34027
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Vanderburgh2822
Morgan28024
Montgomery24517
Noble23721
White2378
Clinton2331
Decatur22431
Grant21323
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18411
Greene16925
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Warrick16628
Monroe16612
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1501
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Jennings1304
Orange13022
Scott1203
Marshall1112
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Carroll932
Daviess9216
Wayne855
LaGrange842
Steuben842
Wabash792
Fayette787
Newton7810
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington521
Clay511
Fulton491
Randolph483
Rush472
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Perry330
Brown331
Wells320
Benton310
Huntington282
Knox280
Blackford262
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Adams171
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167
West Lafayette
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 90°
Kokomo
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Rensselaer
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Fowler
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Williamsport
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 89°
Crawfordsville
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 85°
Frankfort
Overcast
89° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Delphi
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Monticello
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 88°
Logansport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Heat and Humidity Return Today.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events