County Raises ‘Lodging’ Tax to 5% – Creates Additional Tourism Revenue
24 April 2017 News
On April 18, the Warren County Board of Supervisors took advantage of a state legislative initiative adding the county to the list of municipalities that can charge a higher transient occupancy tax; also known as Lodging Tax.
House Bill 1415 passed this year allows Warren County to charge up to a 5-percent Lodging tax. The county’s Lodging Tax was previously capped at 2-percent, where it was set. In contrast, the Town of Front Royal’s Lodging Tax rate is 6-percent.
Prior to a vote on a new rate one hotel owner endorsed the tax hike; and a letter from the local Chamber of Commerce president also endorsing a 3-percent increase was presented. Those endorsements from Holiday Inn General Manager Brent Jackson and Chamber President Niki Foster came because the new revenue must be used for tourism and travel promotion.
Following the unanimous vote approving a new Lodging Tax rate of 5 percent, Happy Creek Supervisor Tony Carter estimated the County will realize an additional $100,000 in annual revenue from the increase. He said the County has been taking in about $80,000 annually from the 2-percent Lodging Tax.
Following the meeting Carter noted that Front Royal handles the tourism promotion for both the Town and County.