The Baltimore County Council has approved legislation to give eight percent of its hotel tax collection to the tourism office to be used for its promotional budget. Currently, Baltimore County tourism has $125,000 in its promotional budget. This law will allow approximately $800,000 to go to tourism promotions.
According to The Baltimore Sun,
The county takes in nearly $10 million annually in hotel taxes, so the bill approved last week would reserve about $800,000 to promote tourism. The legislation takes effect July 1.
Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard counties already dedicate portions of their hotel taxes to promoting tourism. Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond said it made sense to follow their lead.
The Reisterstown Democrat introduced the legislation and lined up Democratic and Republican co-sponsors. The measure passed unanimously.
Almond said the county’s tourism spots — from the waterfront to main streets to rapidly urbanizing Towson — are “underutilized.” She said they will benefit from an infusion of marketing dollars.
“By allocating money to tourism, we are generating new revenue for the county without placing additional burden on our residents,” she said.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz was not keen on mandating how part of the hotel tax should be used, a spokesman said. But he did not oppose the bill because he supports tourism.