Lodging Tax Passes in Sussex County
SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- The Sussex County Council voted to approve a three percent lodging tax in unincorporated areas of the county.
Over the past few months the county council had focused on a proposed lodging that would cover Sussex County.
The tax applies to the rent for any room in a hotel, motel, or tourist home in the unincorporated areas of the county. The new tax will be added to the additional eight percent that hotels, motels and tourist homes already pay to the state. The three percent tax does not include places like Airbnbs and condos, and some business owners didn't full agree with that.
Although the vote was unanimous, the council did hear from those that will be affected.
"They all use the beaches, they're all beneficiaries of the tourism programs."
Owners of hotels and motels all throughout the area, just like the manager of the Hampton Inn in Rehoboth Beach were at the public hearing today to share their concerns. The issue wasn't that they were against the lodging tax it was more so that they just want an even playing field for all the places throughout the unincorporated areas.
"Yeah so we have very many short term rentals in the area and we feel that taxation should be equal amongst everyone who is providing tourism," said Reinie Thompson, the manager of the Hampton Inn.
The money from the tax is going to go to funding for projects all across the county, because of this reason, it helped the council vote yes.
"So hopefully we will do a good job with this and uh use it properly and to benefit this district and this county, I'm going to vote yes motion carries," said Michael Vincent, the President of the Sussex County Council.
"You know support further infrastructure investment for visitors but also for the overall visitor experience," said Scott Thomas, the executive director of southern Delaware tourism.
During the presentation it said funding will go towards, beach nourishment, dredging, flood control projects, economic development and many other projects to benefit the county.
Some of those other projects included tourism programs and recreational activities. The tax will affect, it will not go into action until January of 2020.