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Hotel tax, tip jar bills pending

March 24, 2000

With deadlines looming, the House of Delegates took no action Thursday on two Washington County bills that would increase the hotel tax and change the tip jar gambling law.

But Delegation Chairman Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, said he remained hopeful that two committees will vote on the legislation today.

The committee votes would pave the way for a House floor vote that needs to take place before Monday to ensure the bills have a good chance of passing the Maryland General Assembly before the session ends April 10.

By doubling the hotel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent and diverting gambling money from charities to the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association, the Washington County Delegation wants to raise $500,000 for the Washington County Commissioners to pay down its $52 million water and sewer debt.

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The hotel tax increase would also raise about $300,000 for a new minor league baseball stadium or other tourism initiative the County Commissioners choose.

- Laura Ernde

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