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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.
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NEWS
By Lawrence S. Wittner | March 13, 2013
At this time of severe cutbacks in government funding for food stamps, early childhood education and Meals on Wheels, some Maryland legislators are hard at work looking out for the welfare of one of the world's wealthiest corporations. Under a bill advancing in the General Assembly, the Lockheed Martin Corp. would have the taxes on its luxurious Bethesda hotel and conference center reduced by approximately $450,000 a year. An earlier version of the legislation also included a $1.4 million refund for the period since 2010.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2011
Howard County's state legislators are struggling to decide if the county's hotel room tax should rise to 7 percent from 5 percent, even though hotel owners are supporting the idea as a way to raise money for tourism and business promotion. If approved by the county's eight delegates and three state senators — and later by the full General Assembly — the higher rate would match Anne Arundel County's levy and still be lower than hotel taxes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, though higher than in Carroll and Harford counties.
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February 7, 2012
Editor: This past Friday I took off work and traveled to Annapolis to meet with Harford County delegates on Tourism Day to ask them to please introduce a bill for a tourism-dedicated hotel tax. Harford County is the only county in Maryland and three surrounding states without such a fee. This would put Harford County on a level playing field with other counties in attracting visitors. And visitors would increase business for everyone, myself included. I own a sign and printing business that services tourism-related business.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | January 13, 2011
Some Howard County state legislators are skeptical of an Ulman administration proposal to raise the local hotel/motel tax, presented as an idea to increase tourism and economic development, because the draft legislation presented at a public hearing doesn't say where the new revenue would go. Sen. James N. Robey, a Democrat, said he was concerned that the money wouldn't be set aside by law "I thought it would be in the bill. Why isn't that in the bill?" he asked David B. Nitkin, County Executive Ken Ulman's new lobbyist, at the hearing Monday night in the George Howard building in Ellicott City.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2011
The old dictum that politics makes for strange bedfellows was rarely clearer than in the vote among Howard County's state delegates approving the Ulman administration's bill boosting local hotel room taxes from 5 percent to 7 percent. Allied in opposition were the delegation's most liberal member, Democratic Del. Elizabeth Bobo, and Republicans Dels. Gail H. Bates and Warren E. Miller, the two most conservative. Their reasons for opposing the measure were different, but led them to the same position.
NEWS
June 10, 1994
The Schmoke administration wants to raise the city's hotel occupancy tax to 9 percent from 7 percent to finance its share of the $151 million Baltimore Convention Center expansion. As can be expected, the hospitality industry is up in arms against the proposal, predicting dire consequences for tourism growth if it passes.A hotel tax increase is not likely to be as fatal as the hospitality industry fears. A room tax, after all, is only one among a number of things that determines a city's attractiveness to convention visitors and tourists.
NEWS
July 5, 1994
This much can be said of the Schmoke administration: When shown that a proposal would be harmful to the city, the mayor is capable of altering his stand. The latest proof of this is the wise compromise reached on a proposal that could have damaged the city's hospitality industry by raising the hotel tax.Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke initially wanted to increase the room occupancy tax from 7 to 9 percent in 1996 to finance the city's share of the $150 million Convention Center expansion. After it was shown that this increase might kill Baltimore's hopes for a hospitality boom just as the long-awaited larger convention facility opens, the mayor backtracked.
NEWS
By Ruma Kumar and Ruma Kumar,Sun Reporter | May 21, 2008
The Anne Arundel County Council rejected yesterday a proposal to raise the local hotel tax, bowing to pressure from local and state tourism officials and business owners who said the measure would drive away visitors strapped by the depressed economy. "Raising taxes should absolutely be a last resort," said Councilman Josh Cohen, an Annapolis Democrat. Council members said they found other ways to come up with the $6.3 million that would have been generated by increasing the tax from 7 percent to 10 percent, though they did not provide specifics.
NEWS
By Michael J. Clark and Michael J. Clark,Sun Staff Correspondent | January 17, 1991
ANNAPOLIS -- The Howard County executive's proposal for a 5 percent hotel tax, which he had hoped would soften the impact of an impending property tax increase, was shot down yesterday at a meeting of the local General Assembly delegation.County Executive Charles I. Ecker had said the tax on hotel and motel lodgers would raise about $1 million, equivalent to about 2 cents on the property tax rate, currently $2.45 per $100 of assessed value.Mr. Ecker said recently that he will have to raise property taxes next year even though he intends to cut spending by 10 percent and hold the line on budgets for schools, libraries and the community college.
EXPLORE
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.
EXPLORE
January 12, 2012
Editor: Thank you for the support you have shown me as your State Delegate.  After one year and many tough decisions, the hardest yet is the hotel tax legislation, which I've been opposed. Many Republicans now support it: County Executive David Craig, Senator Nancy Jacobs, Delegate Rick Impalaria, Mayor Dougherty. Because my first thought is for my constituents, I've been researching this issue tirelessly. Here are some points:     • It's not a tax on Harford County citizens or hotels.    • Businesses and hotel owners want it.    • Harford County is the only county without one.    • At least 75 percent would go toward local tourism.  • Harford County citizens are for it.     • Harford County citizens pay a lot in hotel fees in other counties/states.
EXPLORE
November 23, 2011
Editor: I recently paid an Ocean City hotel a combined tax of 10.5 percent for an $89 room. A week later I paid a Connecticut hotel a state imposed tax of 15 percent on a $139 room. Twenty-two counties in Maryland charge a hotel tax. Harford does not. Yet here in Harford County our current delegation remains steadfastly opposed to introducing legislation that would bring a hotel room tax to Harford County. Once at the NAACP forum I spoke in favor of such a tax, even going so far as to state that I thought that any elected official who refused to seek revenue for the county in a manner which did not put a tax or financial burden on its citizens was, in my eyes, not doing their job. I feel even more strongly about this than I did then.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 3, 2011
The old dictum that politics makes for strange bedfellows was rarely clearer than in the vote among Howard County's state delegates approving the Ulman administration's bill boosting local hotel room taxes from 5 percent to 7 percent. Allied in opposition were the delegation's most liberal member, Democratic Del. Elizabeth Bobo, and Republicans Dels. Gail H. Bates and Warren E. Miller, the two most conservative. Their reasons for opposing the measure were different, but led them to the same position.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | February 2, 2011
Howard County's General Assembly delegation narrowly approved an increase in the local hotel room tax from 5 percent to 7 percent Wednesday. If the new rate is approved by the full General Assembly, Howard's tax would equal Anne Arundel's and be lower than Baltimore County and Baltimore City's. It would be higher than Carroll County's rate; Harford County has no hotel tax. The county's three senators split 2-1 in favor while the eight delegates voted 5-3 to approve the bill from County Executive Ken Ulman, but not before amending it to codify where the new revenue would go. All three Howard Republicans opposed the final bill, arguing that taxes should not go up, even though the hotel and tourism industry and the county Chamber of Commerce support the measure.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | January 30, 2011
Howard County's state legislators are struggling to decide if the county's hotel room tax should rise to 7 percent from 5 percent, even though hotel owners are supporting the idea as a way to raise money for tourism and business promotion. If approved by the county's eight delegates and three state senators — and later by the full General Assembly — the higher rate would match Anne Arundel County's levy and still be lower than hotel taxes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, though higher than in Carroll and Harford counties.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff writer | August 7, 1991
Tourists staying overnight in Carroll hotels would pay a special taxunder a proposal introduced by the county budget office to be considered for the 1992 General Assembly.The county commissioners discussed proposals from five county agencies Monday, including legislation that would protect citizens and historic properties from mining expansions and allow the county to establish a budget reserve fund for use during economic crises.The proposals supported by the commissioners will be submitted toCarroll's General Assembly delegation, which will decide whether to introduce them as legislation for the session beginning in January.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2010
A proposed 2 percentage-point increase in Howard County's hotel/motel tax, proceeds of which would be used to help boost tourism, is a key request in a slim list of local legislation being requested from Howard's state legislators in the General Assembly session that starts next month. County Executive Ken Ulman said he is merely helping tourism and economic development officials, so the proposed increase from 5 percent to 7 percent, which would make Howard's rate match Anne Arundel's, doesn't do violence to his campaign statement last summer that he has "no interest" in raising taxes.
NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2010
A proposed 2 percentage-point increase in Howard County's hotel/motel tax, proceeds of which would be used to help boost tourism, is a key request in a slim list of local legislation being requested from Howard's state legislators in the General Assembly session that starts next month. County Executive Ken Ulman said he is merely helping tourism and economic development officials, so the proposed increase from 5 percent to 7 percent, which would make Howard's rate match Anne Arundel's, doesn't do violence to his campaign statement last summer that he has "no interest" in raising taxes.
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