A proposed increase in Mahoning County’s bed tax for hotels and motels from 3 percent to 5 percent was not on the Mahoning County commissioners’ Thursday agenda, but it still loomed large at their meeting.
Commissioner Chairman John A. McNally IV said after the meeting that he did not know when the commissioners would vote on the proposal.
A parade of speakers from the local lodging industry descended on the commissioners’ meeting last week to protest the proposed tax increase, saying it would drive business, especially from bus tours and groups, away from their establishments. The commissioners then tabled the proposal.
If it were to be enacted, the increase would go to the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in
Vienna, whose runways and taxiways are used by the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.
"I think it’s wrong to single out one group,” Maggy Lorenzi of Youngstown said, referring to the lodging industry.
“... to put it on the backs of the hotels is wrong. These people spend millions of dollars to build these hotels,” and maintain them, said Bruce Paulette of Youngstown, a former member of the county Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, which is funded by the bed tax.
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