York County commissioners to up hotel tax

Greg Gross

York County commissioners are expected to vote early next month to increase the local tax levied on rented rooms in hotels.

The proposal is to increase the hotel tax from 3 percent rate to 5 percent; doing so is expected to generate an additional $1 million in revenue to be used for county tourism efforts.

"It's not a tax on our residents unless you stay in hotels here in the county," Doug Hoke, the vice president commissioner, said at the commissioners' weekly meeting Wednesday.

The county had waited about seven years for the state Legislature to give them the authority to increase its hotel tax. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed earlier this month a measure allowing York and 56 other counties to increase the rate.

Hoke and fellow commissioners President Susan Byrnes and Chris Reilly have said they support increasing the rate.

Timeline: It will likely take a few months before the new rate is put into place and the county starts seeing the added tax dollars roll in.

The county would have to alert hotels of the rate change, and the hotels would  have to reprogram their systems for the 5 percent rate. That could be accomplished by July.

York's influx in revenue would bring the yearly total to about $3.1 million. About $800,000 of the $1 million in new revenue would be used for a tourism grant fund, which would be distributed annually to several organizations. Another portion would go to one of the largest tourist destinations, the York Expo Center. The remaining money would be used to promote tourism efforts.

Several nearby counties already levy the 5 percent rate.

Commissioners are expected to vote on increasing the hotel tax at their weekly meeting held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 11 at the county's administrative building, 28. E. Market St.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.