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Applications accepted for hotel tax proceeds

November 23, 2001

Applications accepted for hotel tax proceeds



The Washington County government is accepting written applications for those interested in obtaining a share of county hotel tax proceeds.

Three people in the last two weeks have called the Washington County government to discuss applying for the tax proceeds but nobody has submitted a written application, Planning Director Robert Arch said Tuesday.

The applications became available about two weeks ago, he said. Applications have been sent to all municipalities.

The deadline to apply for the tax proceeds is Dec. 21, he said.

"This is the time to do it. This is the time to get your applications," Arch said.

The county has committed this fiscal year's estimated $500,000 in hotel tax funds for tourism attractions, to enhance economic development or to support cultural and recreational projects.

But next year's funds have not been committed. Arch said he did not have an estimate on the amount of tax funds that would be available for the next budget.

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Last spring, as groups began to approach the county about getting hotel tax money, the Washington County Board of Commissioners decided to establish a policy under which money would be distributed for projects.

The Maryland General Assembly in 1999 approved legislation to increase the county's hotel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent.

Forty-five percent of money generated by the tax increase goes to the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The rest goes to the commissioners, with some of it earmarked for debt reduction.

- Scott Butki

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