County bed tax is unfair

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To The Editor:
On the proposed Delaware County bed tax, I have spoken to several local homeowners and business owners, and found a growing outrage at the proposed new tax.  I completely agree with the points they made, which include the following:
In the past few years, the owners of our local wedding venues have developed a burgeoning industry out of the funds from their own pockets and the sweat of their brow.  They have given us a thriving wedding business that benefits all local businesses, from florists, to caterers, to gas stations, to restaurants, etc.  Now that these private entrepreneurs have done all the groundwork, the county wants to horn in on their hard work and grab some of the cash with a new tax.  This is outrageous opportunism. 
If the county imposes an additional two percent tax, on top of the already existing eight percent sales tax, there will be a whopping 10 percent tax on these overnight guests.  Just at the moment that the county should be encouraging more houseguests, they are chasing them away. 
And indeed, the Delaware tourism website has been boasting all along that tourists should come to our county because, “We have no bed tax.”  This is a sudden about face, which undermines the image of our county.
In addition, our county officials have been bemoaning the chronic shortage of housing for hosting the growing wedding industry.  Now they will shoot themselves in the foot by forcing homeowners out of the hospitality business.  I have been told by several local home renters that, if they are forced to pay more taxes and file more paperwork, they will simply withdraw their houses from the market, and thus further reduce the already small pool of houses available to support the wedding industry.  People won’t sign up for weddings in this area if there is a serious lack of places to house their guests.
I believe the folks I have spoken with make a very strong argument against adding yet another tax, and I stand firmly with their views.

Bill Walcutt
candidate for supervisor,
Roxbury