Clearfield County Commissioners are considering adding a late payment interest penalty to its proposed hotel tax ordinance.
Last week, commissioners authorized Solicitor Heather Bozovich to draft revisions to the hotel tax ordinance to increase the hotel tax from three to five percent.
The revenue is used to fund tourism opportunities, promotion and development within Clearfield County and is given to Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority for acting as the county’s tourism agent.
Yesterday, Commissioner Dave Glass asked if a penalty could be enacted for late payment of the hotel tax.
Bozovich said one of the considerations she is including in the draft ordinance is an interest penalty when the hotel tax isn’t paid in a timely manner.
“It’s something some of the other counties do,” Bozovich said.
“I think that’s a really good idea,” Glass said.
Currently, the hotel taxes are paid quarterly and businesses have 30 days to pay the tax and a minimum of two letters have to be sent out by the county before anything is done. Bozovich said.
She said there are a few habitual offenders and the interest penalty could discourage late payment of the hotel tax.
The draft ordinance should be ready for a vote by the commissioners at its meeting next Tuesday, according to Bozovich.
According to a previous article in The Progress, a portion of the hotel tax revenue is used to fund the county’s tourism grant program. Commissioner Tony Scotto, a member of the CCRTA’s board, said the tourism promotion agency had to shut down its grant programs, both in 2020 and 2021, because it had few funds coming in after visitors were not traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic and several other counties in the area already charge five percent.