Lewes Considers Accommodations Tax
LEWES, Del.- Hotel rooms in the First Town in the First State may become more expensive.
Lewes is considering adding an up-to 3 percent accommodations tax on hotels and motels in corporate limits. But before any tax can be enacted, the city must change its charter, a move that requires legislative approval.
"The county already got that approval last year as did Rehoboth," explains Mayor Ted Becker. "So we are just looking at the possibility and in both Rehoboth and the County, that required charter changes as well."
Becker says the tax could increase revenue, but the city does not want to push people away, a concern some local hotels expressed to WRDE. Beacon Motel Manager Maggie Lingo hopes more input and information is gathered before any decisions are made.
"It affects all of us," she says. "There's only five of us [hotels/motels] so I think its important that we are all included in everything."
The up-to 3 percent tax would be in addition on the existing 8 percent state tax. Lewes also charges vacation rentals a 5 percent Gross Rental Receipts Tax. Becker says the potential new tax is a ways away.
"All we are doing is discussing the possibility of requesting a charter change that would enable us to consider that," he says. "Then we would have to come back and decide what the percentage might be and when it would be effective. So there's no dates established at this point."
A number of other municipalities considered similar taxes earlier this summer.