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Legislator: Chamber, visitors bureau not ‘transparent’

March 1, 2013

State Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, wants Lycoming County’s hotel tax increased and greater regulation on how those funds are spent in the community....

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Mar-02-13 8:33 AM


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Mar-02-13 8:32 AM

Come to Lycoming County to buy your DOPE!

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Mar-02-13 8:31 AM

We got the INFLUX!

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Mar-01-13 2:07 PM

If any of you bothered to listen last night, you would know that this is about the Chamber using public money to pay Vince and Jason for Chamber work. $50,000 for part time--give me a break.

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Mar-01-13 1:04 PM

The Chamber needs to go. I'm not agreeing that Marabito should handle the money. We need to face the fact that Williamsport is not a tourist attraction. We would get more people in town with an Outlet Mall or Casino. How many people have traveled outside of the county or city to visit one of these two?

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Mar-01-13 11:49 AM

As masters of transparency, our government is ready, willing, and able to*****up any funds available out there. And they will make sure everybody knows where the money goes. (sarc)

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Mar-01-13 10:23 AM

Lycoming County has no tourist attractions to pull in that many visitors.

What about bars, kohls, and jails? Isn't that enough to draw in tourists?

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Mar-01-13 9:29 AM

All those hotels are going to be hurting when the gas industry leaves. Lycoming County has no tourist attractions to pull in that many visitors. It does not really matter what sort of tourist attractions you develop, the real problem is proximity to major metropolitan centers. Lycoming County is just too far from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to quality as an excursion from the big city.

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Mar-01-13 8:48 AM

I believe in Pa there are only two other counties that launder their Hotel Tax money through their Chamber of Commerce. Here in Lycoming County the " Tourism & Visitors Burrow " has been forced to become a rubber stamp organization; that can only vote on issues / programs that are highly selected and brought forth by the Chamber. And of course the ones that benefit are usually chamber members (Kind of like the DOE selecting their buddies like Solyndra .... can you say "Crony Capitalism")? .... con't below

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Mar-01-13 8:47 AM

What Maribito wants to do is change the State "Enabling Laws" to allow the income to be used outside of its purview. The real issue should be, how do you get rid of the waste in the laundry room. The Commissioners need to strongly consider pulling the money from the Chamber and to allow a real Tourism board to be established (Like most other Counties) with transparency built into their by-laws.

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Mar-01-13 8:36 AM

They don't get much from the gas workers after they stay in the same hotel for so long they do not pay any taxes. I think its 30 days but could be up to 90 then their rates are a flat fee like rent.

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Mar-01-13 8:12 AM

What a dolt! Miribito just wants money from anywhere he can get it to pay off voters to get reelected. The hotel tax money is there because we have tourists and people working in the area--not all gas workers--who use the hotels and pay the tax. The money should go into furthering tourism which would increase the tax amount and then there are more employees, more businesses sprout up, more tax revenues from those sources. It really is very simple, but these dolts say 6 million dollars and everyone is impressed. Uh, that's 500K a year folks. Not enough to make any difference in a county the size of Lycoming and the road needs. All another grab by a tax and spend pol. Toss him and the rest of them out!

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Mar-01-13 7:35 AM

Open books are a good thing.

But, I suspect, Rep Mirabito wants to use that openess to attack the current choices in favor of his own.

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Mar-01-13 6:28 AM

It is a fair and reasonable question to want to know where the money is going. The hotel tax has been substantial in recent years without any disclosure about its use. Maybe that is all the further the conversation needs to go, but it stills needs to get that far.

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Mar-01-13 6:26 AM

Tedeaux--Rick Mirabito sure doesn't have a hard time spending other peoples money.

I laugh every time there is an article about this guy. There is not a tax out there that this guy is not in love with! With him its either TAX, TAX, TAX!!!! Or kicking partisan dirt at the other side... People love this guy though, they yank that D lever every other November knowing full well what they are getting!

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Mar-01-13 4:27 AM

I was at this meeting and Representative Mirabito looked foolish. It is obvious he is another tax and spend liberal out to grab the money for his pet projects. People need to elect someone who is not in bed with the far left. He does not represent us at all.Shame on you for blaming the great folks at the Chamber because you won't cut spending in Harrisburg. Get to work and quit blaming everyone else for your failures.

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Mar-01-13 4:03 AM

Rick Mirabito sure doesn't have a hard time spending other peoples money. Come on seriously, using hotel taxes to pay for roads? Its easy to convince people to put a huge tax on hotels because local people don't usually stay in hotels in their hometowns. Basically its the classical case of "taxation without representation". It a tourism killer!

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