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Wayne County delays lodging tax after feedback from stakeholders

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Wayne County’s plan to introduce a 5% lodging tax on hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and short-term rentals, initially set to take effect on March 1, has been postponed. The Wayne County Board of Supervisors decided to hold off on collecting the tax, intended to boost tourism promotion revenue, following concerns raised by the lodging industry. A new resolution, expected to be passed at the board’s next meeting, will instruct County Treasurer Patrick Schmitt to halt tax collection and work on revising the law for further review.

Feedback from the lodging sector prompted this reconsideration, with industry stakeholders highlighting issues, especially around booking sites requiring full payment at booking, potentially forcing business owners to absorb the tax for pre-booked stays. The county aims to refine the law to better serve both businesses and tourism objectives, acknowledging the importance of addressing these legitimate concerns.

Despite the delay, the county remains committed to enhancing tourism through effective promotion, funded by the occupancy tax. The revised law will undergo a public hearing process, allowing for community input before implementation. This adjustment underscores Wayne County’s responsiveness to business feedback and its dedication to fostering a supportive environment for its tourism industry.