Vote on innkeeper’s tax delayed for at least a month

County council members are concerned about how much would be raised by a new tax that would go toward promoting tourism and how it would be spent, and they won’t make a decision on charging the tax for at least a month.

The board delayed a decision on approving a local innkeeper’s tax but could vote in February. The tax would add 5 percent to the total bill for guests at local hotels, motels or bed-and-breakfasts, which would be used to fund a countywide tourism bureau to promote the county and its events and attractions.

Under a new proposal being considered, nonprofits, such as sports camps where youth stay overnight, would not be required to charge the tax, the county council would get to appoint a member to the tourism board that would oversee how the money is spent, and the council would review the tax in five years to decide whether it is effective at increasing tourism. With those changes, one more council member said he now favors approving the tax.

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