Brooke Commission Approached for Bed and Breakfast Tax | News, Sports, Jobs

Warren Scott BED AND BREAKFAST TAX PROPOSAL – The Brooke County Commission was asked on Tuesday to support the collection of state hotel occupancy tax from local bed and breakfast owners.

WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Commission was asked at its Tuesday meeting to draft an ordinance supporting the levying of a tax from those staying in overhead guesthouses.

Rachel Keeney, the new executive director of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, told commissioners such a move was necessary for CVB and the county to benefit from the revenue generated by booking local guest houses through online services such as Airbnb. .

The founders of Airbnb helped popularize the term, which has nothing to do with airfare but was inspired by their idea of ​​renting a room with an air mattress to temporary guests.

In 2018, the company reported that West Virginia bed and breakfasts were generating $ 10 million in revenue from tens of thousands of guests booked online through them.

Keeney noted that state lawmakers this year approved legislation allowing the collection of hotel occupancy tax by Airbnb and similar services on behalf of the West Virginia guesthouses they serve.

It also applies to independent hotel reservation services such as Expedia.

The tax is 6 percent of the price of the advertisement, including cleaning and other charges, paid by customers.

The legislation also allows these reservation services to collect 1% municipal sales taxes for accommodation providers in cities with such a tax.

Airbnb officials have reported that the deal is one of hundreds the online service has with government entities in the United States.

Keeney told commissioners that there are about 20 bed and breakfasts in Brooke County, but overhead bed and breakfasts are a growing trend.

She confirmed that hotel occupancy tax revenues are a major source of funding for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which promotes local communities as a destination for recreation, business meetings and other gatherings.

Commission Chairman AJ Thomas said most of the county’s hotels are located in municipalities, primarily Weirton, so the county doesn’t receive hotel tax from them, and so may be. the same goes for the guest rooms.

County commissioner Tim Ennis said tax collection from people living in unincorporated areas appeared negligible.

In other cases, the commissioners:

– I learned that the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office will provide $ 1,935 in federal Help America Vote Act funds to the county election office for the purchase of three printers and a scanner to use for the voter registration.

– Approval of an annual maintenance contract of $ 1,400 for the county courthouse telephone system with Advanced Communications Co. of Wheeling.

– Agreed to open county offices for half a day only on December 23 and 30 while offering paid time off, or a period and a half, to hourly staff who work on those days.

The move follows Gov. Jim Justice’s order to open state offices for half a day on these dates.

State and county offices will also be closed on December 24 and 31.

– The commission has received letters of interest for a reappointment on the board of directors of Brooke Hills Park and, in accordance with its previous policy, has agreed to accept letters of interest from other persons occupying seats of volunteers for two weeks.

The panel continues to seek someone to fill a seat on the county museum’s board of directors and five people to sit on the new county ambulance authority, which will oversee the operation of the county ambulance service.

County Clerk Kim Barbetta stressed that anyone wishing to be part of the volunteer boards should express their interest in writing. The letters should be sent to his office at the county courthouse for review by the commission.

(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])

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