Delaware County commissioners have adopted rules for the administration of a new hotel lodging tax that will benefit the county fairgrounds.
The new 3 percent tax was passed by county voters at the March 15 primary election. It will be imposed starting on May 6, once the county Board of Elections certifies the vote on or before April 5, county officials say.
The five-year tax is expected to generate $200,000 in revenue annually to be used for improvements to the Delaware County Fairgrounds’ buildings and facilities. The fairgrounds was constructed in 1938, making many of the structures nearly 80 years old and in need of repairs.
Frank Rienhard, president of the Delaware County Agricultural Society board of directors, was asked by commissioners to speak at Monday’s meeting just before the vote.
He thanked commissioners for their support of the fairgrounds and their “monumental move” to place the levy on the ballot. “It will be a big game-changer for us obviously going forward,” Rienhard said.
The tax is to be imposed in all of the county on all hotel and lodging businesses, regardless of municipal boundaries, according to the rules approved by commissioners Monday.
The bed tax will be collected on the 23rd of every month, starting in June. A grace period was given so hotels could make updates to software and internal systems for the tax.
A fact sheet provided by the Friends Your Delaware County Fair indicates that the income from the tax will go toward electrical grid upgrades; safety repairs for the grandstands; updating buildings, roads, plumbing and storm sewers; and bringing the restrooms into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The fair is Sept. 17-24 this year. “We hope to do some stuff before September,” said Bill Lowe, manager of the Delaware County Fair. “We have to wait to see how much money comes in. We’re making lots of considerations of what needs to be done.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reach at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin