From the Salem Leader:
Washington County's innkeeper's tax has been increased from 4 to 5 percent, the maximum amount allowed by Indiana statute. The Washington County Council agreed unanimously to raise the taxfollowing a public hearing held during the council's May 5 meeting.
No comments came from the public during that hearing.
The tax is paid by visitors to the county who stay at its motels, cabins at Delaney Park or local bed and breakfast operations. Last year, it generated $8,467.66. The intent is for the tax to be used for promotional purposes.
Last year, it was used to cover costs of a brochure about Beck's Mill and also helped with the costs of a fireworks show at Salem Speedway.
Raising the tax was first suggested by Jack Mahuron, one of the investors in the Cobblestone Hotel, now under construction on the east side of Salem. Mahuron suggested the rate be raised to increase the amount the tourism board has to work with.
In March, the county commissioners rearranged that board. Several long-time members no longer serve and several new faces, including that of Mahuron's, were appointed in their place. Adam Kelly is the board's new president.
Mahuron said if the hotel takes in $500,000, it should generate $25,000 in tax revenue. If the hotel makes $1 million, some $50,000 would be generated by the tax.