Harford County hotel tax fails again

The sign suggests you'd ‘Love It', but spreading the word about Harford County costs money and that's why tourism officials were hoping state lawmakers would allow them to impose a hotel tax.

Infighting between members of the local delegation ultimately killed the bill earlier this week.

"We were disappointed," said County Economic Development Director Jim Richardson, "The tax, itself, would generate somewhere between three and four million dollars and a good part of that money would go to marketing for events in Harford County."

The cities of Aberdeen and Havre de Grace had hoped to use some of the money raised by the 6% tax to fix their roads, while half of it would have been committed to marketing the county and expanding events to draw tourists from throughout Maryland and from outside of the state.

"We really started with Cal Ripken... building the Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.  Then Harford County built the Cedar Lane Regional Park, which brings in a lot of tournaments and events there and now Harford Community College has built this arena and we have a new events center coming on line in Water's Edge," said Richardson.

Harford County is the only county in Maryland without such a tax, and hopes of someday building a convention center here may depend on tourists who learn to love it, if they ever get that message.

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