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West Virginia Senate passes bill Gov. Justice says is a ‘tax’ on tourism

By Charles Young, The Exponent Telegram

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A measure Gov. Jim Justice recently said is a “tax” on tourism in the state passed the West Virginia Senate on Friday.

Senate Bill 167 would allow county commissions to impose a fee of “up to $1” on certain tourism and recreational activities to provide funding for EMS services, volunteer fire departments and “critical infrastructure” projects.

The bill passed by a vote of 30-4 and will now go to the West Virginia House of Delegates for consideration.

The fee would apply to a wide range of activities and services, including Airbnb and Vrbo rentals, ski lift tickets, whitewater rafting, golfing and guided fishing or hunting excursions.

The bill designates that 60% of funds generated from the fees in a county will go to emergency medical services and volunteer fire departments, and 40% will go to emergency services readiness or critical infrastructure projects.

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