Rehoboth Beach officials seek to increase lodging tax up to 3%
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – As the number of visitors that come to Rehoboth Beach each year grows, the demand to provide quality services to the public becomes greater. And it’s a task that isn’t cheap.
“We provide a lot of services to our guests, to our residents, such as lifeguards, maintaining the boardwalk, extra police presence,” said Mayor Paul Kuhns.
Which is why Rehoboth Beach officials are looking to get the green light from the state to increase their lodging tax by up to 3% and use that money to make sure the area remains a prime destination.
“As expenses continue to grow we want to do upgrades and we want to provide the best services possible for our visitors,” Kuhns said.
But, not everyone likes the idea. People in the area say they feel a potential 11% tax could keep visitors away.
“There’s already an 8% rate right now, just to add on another 3%, my first question would be why,” said Ethan Thomas.
Hotels in the area declined to go on camera, but said they were also against the proposed increase. Adding that it would “put them on an unfair playing field with the hotels outside of town who only have an 8% tax.”
“Will it upset some people, yes, and I understand that completely,but, I think probably with time there may be more of a level playing field out in the county than people expect,” Kuhns said.
Other visitors we spoke to say they wouldn’t mind the increase and say it’s something that people can still afford. Adding that as long as the money is going to a good cause, they’re on board.
“If it goes to those people that need it to keep the area safe and clean then I think it’s ok,” said Janet Nystrom.
City officials say that their proposed increase did pass through the senate with a 21 to 0 vote on Thursday. Now its expected to go to the house for a discussion and a vote when session reconvenes in June.