Rehoboth Beach / Office of the Governor

Delaware: Sussex County Council considers a 3 percent lodging tax

A public hearing will be held next month to accept public comment on a proposed Sussex County Council ordinance allowing implementation of a lodging tax of up to 3 percent in unincorporated areas of the county.

Last summer, a bill was passed in the Delaware General Assembly to allow Sussex County to impose the tax. The state currently has an 8 percent lodging tax.

The county ordinance was drafted, then introduced, by Councilman Irwin G. “I.G.” Burton at the council’s Oct. 22 meeting. If passed, the tax would be on hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts and other lodging accommodations with five or more bedrooms, and it would generate more than $1.3 million for the County.

The tax would affect about 40 existing lodgings or tourist homes and go into effect in January 2020. A tourist home owner is anyone who operates a structure where tourists or guests sleep, but doesn’t include short-term rentals or Airbnb’s.

Other state bills passed this year authorized towns including Millville, Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Dover and Delaware City to impose the same tax. On June 11, the Town of Millville passed a resolution to impose the tax on hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts, but at this time, the town doesn’t have any of those types of accommodations.

Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran this week said he had asked Town Manager Carol Houck to place the matter on the Nov. 12 town council meeting agenda, for discussion.

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