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The Washington County Tourist Development Council (TDC) has unanimously voted to propose an increase in the tourism lodging tax from 3% to 5%. This decision will be presented to the Washington County Board of County Commissioners for approval to place the issue on the November general election ballot.

Since its establishment in 2000, the TDC has levied a 3% tax on short-term rentals–a category that includes accommodations rented for less than six months such as RV parks, hotels, motels, vacation rental properties, and other similar venues. 

This tax, aimed at visitors, helps fund tourism-related activities and infrastructure in Washington County.

The proposed increase of two percentage points seeks to enhance the council’s ability to promote and develop local tourism further. If approved by the Board of County Commissioners, Washington County voters will have the opportunity to vote on this measure in the upcoming general election.

The revenue from the increased tax would be specifically allocated to expanding and improving tourist attractions, facilities, and marketing efforts to attract more visitors to the area. This initiative reflects a growing trend among local governments to leverage tourism tax as a means to boost economic development without imposing new taxes on residents.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend the upcoming board meeting, where the proposal will be discussed in detail. The TDC said that community input is crucial to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are considered in the decision-making process.

For further information and updates, the TDC invites the public to visit their official website or contact their office directly.