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Park County voters weigh renewing local lodging tax

 Park County, Wyoming voters will have the option to renew a local lodging tax in 2020, or let it sunset.
Park County, Wyoming voters will have the option to renew a local lodging tax in 2020, or let it sunset. (KGWN)
Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 9:59 AM CST
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At four percent, Park County has one of the lowest sales tax rates in the state, not to mention the nation. But if you’re staying in a hotel in Cody, Powell, Meeteetse or at properties in Yellowstone, you’ll pay eight percent.

That’s because of the four percent lodging tax that voters have approved since 1986.

According to the Executive Director of the Park County Travel Council, Claudia Wade, the lodging tax goes a long way in helping to stimulate the local economy.

The role of the Park County Travel Council is to administer Park County’s 4% lodging tax revenues, which Wyoming state statutes dictate must be spent for tourism promotion only.

The Council approves television, print, and digital advertising, as well as social media, along with grants to local non-profits who host events that bring in visitors from out of town.

The hospitality and tourism industry is the second largest employment sector in Park County, according to a recent report compiled by the County Commissioners. Wade says that because of the lodging tax, more people are drawn to Park County as tourists, which then allows more locals to stay employed.

When visitors come to the area, they pay a sales tax as well as a lodging tax," Wade explains. "So those expenditures have a big impact on our economics. Those businesses that they’re frequenting also are hiring employees - so those front line workers and workers behind the scenes all benefit from the tourism industry and visitors coming to the area.”

The lodging tax will once again be on the Park County ballot this year for voters to consider. Wade urges residents to consider the importance of this tax to the local economy when they go to the polls later this year.

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