Harford could use a hotel tax

January 13, 2012

Editor:

I was disappointed to read in the Jan. 6 edition of your paper that a hotel tax for Harford County may be dead on arrival in the upcoming legislative session in Annapolis.

This past summer I traveled to neighboring states Virginia and Pennsylvania, and in each case was charged a nominal room tax on my hotel bill. This is common throughout the United States, and I believe Harford County is the only county in Maryland without such a tax.

A reasonable hotel tax would provide much-needed revenue for local municipalities without increasing the tax liability for county residents, who are already burdened with dramatic toll increases, hikes in user fees and now a potential increase in the gas tax.

While BRAC has benefited the state of Maryland at large, there's been little trickle-down to Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace. For example, it's my understanding that APG commercial properties are not subject to Aberdeen town property taxes even though the occupants benefit from the town's infrastructure.

At a time when decreasing property values have translated to a decrease in property tax revenues, it's time to take a serious look at a hotel tax. I'd like to believe Harford's delegation wants to take care of the people they represent, and a hotel tax, levied on those who temporarily use county services, would contribute to local coffers without burdening local residents.

Pat Faircloth

Aberdeen

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