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New Hampshire's HB 1254: Boosting Conway's Public Safety Funding through Lodging Assessments

HB 1254, which is under consideration in Concord would add a lodging tax to help support cost of town's public safety services.

  • Bill Overview: HB 1254, aimed at supporting public safety in towns like Conway, proposes a new revenue method through a small charge on lodging. It is scheduled for a hearing at the House Ways and Means Committee on January 9th.
  • Revenue Potential: If passed, the bill could generate approximately $1 million annually for Conway.

Key Details:

  • Sponsorship: The bill is sponsored by Democratic Reps. Tom Buco, David Paige, and Steve Woodcock from Conway.
  • Support: Conway's selectmen and town officials support the bill.
  • Purpose: The bill allows towns to collect a public safety assessment on various lodging establishments to address the public safety needs arising from increased tourism and transient traffic.

Implications for Conway:

  • Local Challenges: Conway currently faces a tax burden shift to homeowners and needs funds for renovating the Conway police station, estimated at $8 million.
  • Revenue Calculation: Assuming a $2 charge per night with 50% occupancy across 3,000 rooms, the town could earn around $900,000 annually, potentially covering the costs of the police station renovation.

Legislative Process:

  • Public Hearing and Testimony: The bill will be heard by the Ways and Means committee, with public testimony options available.
  • Lack of Local Representation: No Carroll County representatives are on the Ways and Means committee.

A similar bill was rejected in the past; this version focuses on public safety to gain approval.

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