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Hotel Tax Increase FAQ

The Central PA Convention & Visitors Bureau is asking the Centre County Commissioners to enact an ordinance which would result in the local hotel occupancy tax being increased from 2.5% to 5%.  Act 18 of 2016 allows for these increases and most counties in Pennsylvania affected by this legislation have taken advantage of the new tax rates to engage in sales and marketing activity to generate more visitation.  

Why is this increase vital to the Centre County business community?

Centre County ranks 66th out of 67 counties for hotel tax rates in Pennsylvania. Having a current hotel tax rate of 2.5% is a competitive disadvantage in our ability to tell Centre County’s tourism story to potential visitors. Competitive Pennsylvania counties have already enacted this hotel tax increase to 5%.  The CPCVB’s goal is to get people to stay longer, do more things, and spend more money when they visit Centre County and to believe that there is a reason to come back for a future visit.

Who would be paying the tax?

Visitors using hotel/motel/Inn’s/B&B properties for overnight stays would be assessed a 5% hotel tax. This would be an increase from the current 2.5%. Those properties who book overnight visitors would not see a decrease in their revenue, but would be required to collect the tax, which they would then forward to the county treasurer.

  

Example:

                                $100 (Base Price of Hotel Room)

                                $    6 (State Hotel Occupancy Tax)

                                $    5 (County Hotel Occupancy Tax)

                                ---------------

                                $111 (Total Price Paid By Customer)

 

Will you be paying any more taxes from this as a Centre County resident?

Not unless you are staying in a Centre County lodging property.

How would the tax money be used?

The funds would go to the Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau (CPCVB) for a host of purposes:

  1. This tax increase will allow the CPCVB to support fairs, festivals, events and organizations through our tourism grant program that increases visitation to the county.
  2. It will allow the CPCVB to engage in sales and marketing activity to compete for visitors with other Pennsylvania counties that have already raised their tax to the allowable 5%.
  3. Perform research that gathers data that is vital to the success of local businesses.
  4. Explore the feasibility of opening a satellite visitor center in Philipsburg to provide travelers coming from the west with information about things to do and see in Centre County.
  5. Upgrade the technology that the CPCVB utilizes to distribute information about Centre County, including a re-designed web site, additional video content, and increased social media activity.   

 

When will this tax increase go into motion?

The hope is to get the hotel tax increase approved by early 2019 and put into motion by April 2019.

Where will the tax be collected?

This would apply to Centre County only lodging properties. Examples would be hotels, bed & breakfasts and shared economy housing (i.e. reservations made via listings on AirBnB, Home Away, FlipKey, CollegeRentals.com etc.)

How would this tax positively impact Centre County?

The tax increase is projected to drive an estimated $137 million in new visitor spending to the county on an annual basis and lead to the creation of 320 hospitality and ancillary industry jobs.

Additionally we believe that with these funds we will be able to raise the hotel occupancy and bed and breakfast occupancy rates to catch up with state and national averages, which Centre County has been lagging.

 

To See Convention & Visitors Bureau Tax Presentation to the Centre County Commissioners: Click Here