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Bath council supports tax hike

February 28, 2005|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Bath Town Council approved supporting an increase in the hotel/motel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent.

At last Monday night's meeting, Mayor Susan Webster said she would write a letter to the West Virginia Legislature showing the town's support.

Webster said she attended a West Virginia Municipal League conference recently, along with Town Clerk Margie McCumbee and Councilman Dave Hall, and the organization supports the increase.

Webster said the Municipal League is "looking at the states around us, and we are the only one low" (still at 3 percent). Councilman David Crosby, the council's finance committee chairman, said the town council should coordinate with the county, which also receives 3 percent.

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Webster said the county wants the increase.

The municipal hotel/motel tax was approved by the West Virginia Legislature to replace local funds spent on the operation and maintenance of public parks, historic sites and beautification projects to promote tourism, and the increase in emergency services costs (police, fire and ambulance) resulting from travel and tourism.

Half of the tax is sent to the local convention and visitors bureaus and the remaining half only can be used for town tourism-promotion projects.

Crosby said he wants changes to include an administrative fee for the town.

The Town of Bath is the local government inside Berkeley Springs.

- Trish Rudder

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