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Hotel/motel tax will be revisited in six months

September 11, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- On a 2-1 vote, the Morgan County Commission decided Thursday to revisit the hotel/motel tax issue in six months instead of a year.

Morgan County Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said because of the state of the economy, there would be no increase in the hotel/motel tax at this time. Commissioner Stacy A. Dugan said she wanted a 1 percent increase, but said she will wait until the issue is brought up in six months.

Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim opposed waiting only six months and wanted to revisit the issue in a year.

Travel Berkeley Springs President Stephanie Rebant and other members of the lodging industry voiced disapproval of revisiting the issue in six months. Business is down, and Rebant felt it was going to take longer before the industry improves.

Hutchinson said she wanted to revisit the issue at regular intervals.

"We need to say no at this point, but we have the right to revisit it," she said.

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In March, the commission tabled the decision to increase the tax after meetings and a public hearing.

The current hotel/motel tax in Morgan County is 3 percent. State law allows it to be as high as 6 percent.

Funds collected from the hotel/motel tax are used to support some local organizations, including Morgan County Parks and Recreation, which requested the commission raise the tax.

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