W.Va. county, casino clash over hotel taxes

Associated Press Published: September 21, 2012
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NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. (AP) — One West Virginia county says its revenue is off $530,000 since 2008 because hotels and motels have failed to charge a 6 percent occupancy tax on guest rooms

WTOV (http://bit.ly/ScjP5g) says Hancock County discovered the problem about six weeks ago. The County Commission says the biggest offender is Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort.

General Manager Chris Kern says the resort complies with all tax regulations, but Mountaineer doesn't have to collect tax on rooms it gives gamblers for free. He says state tax and revenue officials have offered an opinion supporting the practice.

Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller disputes that. He says tax has to be collected and paid even if the rooms are free.

Swartzmiller says the commission is considering either a new ordinance or pursuing the revenue by other means.