MASON CITY, Iowa - A new tax is now in effect for those staying at hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, or vacation rentals in unincorporated Cerro Gordo County.
This comes after voters approved the 7% tax in April, which officially took effect July 1st, and affect people lodging in areas outside of Mason City and Clear Lake, which already have similar taxes of their own.
Christine Brager has been the owner and operator of PM Park on the south shore of Clear Lake for 15 years. She hopes to see the revenue generated by the tax to come back to her business.
"I think it's going to be great for the unincorporated areas. The city has found a way to use their tourism dollars, so hopefully they'll use some of these dollars in the unincorporated area to boost our tourism."
She doesn't see the tax as a way to drive customers elsewhere.
"I don't think so. I think the real draw here isn't PM Park, it's Clear Lake. Being on the lake is what you're going for when you come to Clear Lake."
County supervisor Tim Latham says that the tax is intended to level the field between incorporated and unincorporated towns in the county, as well as to help foster economic growth and tourism opportunities.
Since the tax is already being collected, county supervisors originally planned to approve the ordinance at their Tuesday meeting, but because one of the supervisors was absent, that plan was put on hold. The item will be on next week's agenda.
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