Local chamber of commerce says county is losing out on tourism money

On Friday the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce met with Visit Mason City to discuss a potential tax of 7% on those renting rooms in the county.

Posted: Feb. 2, 2018 6:01 PM
Updated: Feb. 2, 2018 6:01 PM

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa- Hundreds of people come to Clear Lake each year for the annual Winter Dance Party and many of those people need a place to stay. Those staying in a hotel or motel in city limits of Mason City or Clear Lake pay a 7% hotel motel tax, but if they rent a room in the county they don’t a tax.

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On Friday the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce met with Visit Mason City to discuss a potential tax of 7% on those renting rooms in the county. Those with the local chamber say recently that have had an increase in home sharing services such as Air B&B and feel they are losing out on the tax dollars.

Ron Cascarano of Kenosha Wisconsin is staying at the Historic Park Inn meaning he pays the 7% tax and says he feels those renting in the county should pay as well.

“There should be some sort of tax,” says Cascarano. “Maybe not the same as the cities, but there should be something to bring in a little extra money.”

Those with the Chamber say the tax would be collected by the county. 50% of the tax revenue has to be used for improving tourism in the county.

Currently, neighboring counties have a 7% county hotel motel tax: Mitchell, Franklin and Hamilton.

Those with the chamber say they will be meeting with the Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors to make their proposal on February 13th.

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