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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… Area Counties Raising Hotel Tax Rates to Expand Tourism Reach

February 24, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Tourists from China, Europe, and the Middle East, as well as the New York and Washington areas and elsewhere, increasingly are visiting Philadelphia’s suburban counties, and the counties are looking to capitalize on that trend by raising more tax revenue to promote tourism further. 

Chester County’s commissioners on Wednesday voted to increase hotel-room tax rates, joining Montgomery and Bucks Counties, which voted to do the same in December. Officials in Chester and Bucks upped their 3 percent rate to 5 percent. Montgomery County officials raised theirs to 4 percent from 2 percent, keeping just under the others to stay competitive, they said.

A bill Gov. Wolf signed in April allows 57 of the state’s 67 counties to raise their hotel-room taxes from 3 percent to 5 percent, with the stipulation that the additional money be used to promote tourism.

Counties and local visitor bureaus had asked for an increase in the tax limit to offset drops in state tourism funding. As of Wednesday, 28 counties had told the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association that they had raised their rates.

“When the state allowed us to increase the hotel tax,” he said, “we had to go along just to stay competitive, to have a level playing field.” [Mike Bowman, president of the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board]

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