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Berkeley Co. motel tax hike would fund parks

June 15, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission is looking favorably on increasing the county's hotel and motel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent.

Increasing the hotel and motel tax to 6 percent will generate about $260,000 more in additional revenue annually to help fund activities operated by the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board, the commission said Thursday.

The money would help pay for expansions in the county's parks programs to serve the growing population, county parks officials said during a public hearing on the tax increase.

The tax generates about $250,000 per year, and by law, half of the money must go to the Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the commission said.

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Commissioner Bill Stubblefield said increasing the tax is a fairness issue because motels in the City of Martinsburg are taxed at a higher rate.

The commission has not heard any opposition from hotel and motel owners, Commission President Steve Teufel said.

The commission is expected to act on the tax increase July 5.

The Jefferson County Commission also is considering increasing its hotel and motel tax from 3 percent to 6 percent. If approved, the money would be used to fund recreation and arts programs.

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