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From the Desk of State Representative
 Dan Moul

(8/2012) As a member of the House Tourism and Recreational Development Committee, I am pleased that Gov. Tom Corbett recently signed legislation that I sponsored to increase tourism revenue in Adams County.

Act 142 will permit the county to raise the ceiling on its hotel room tax to generate more revenue for tourism promotion. The law amends a section of the County Code to give the Adams County commissioners the authority to increase the maximum hotel room tax from 3 percent to 5 percent. The measure could generate as much as $800,000 in additional revenue for tourism promotion, marketing and administration.

The legislation also permits the county to deduct a small fee from the tax revenue collected to defray the cost of collection and administration of the tax, and to conduct at least one annual audit of the hotel operators.

The greater Gettysburg and Adams County area is a significant tourism destination. The battlefield and other attractions draw millions of visitors to our area every year, which stimulates job growth and our local economy. This new law gives the county commissioners some flexibility in determining how it will meet its funding needs for tourism promotion.

I introduced another bill that will aid the tourism industry in Adams County and all of Pennsylvania. The House Liquor Control Committee recently held a public hearing at Hauser Estate Winery in Biglerville, Adams County, to consider my bill to create a “wine only” license for restaurants. The special class of license proposed in House Bill 1489 would expand the market for the 187 limited wineries throughout Pennsylvania.

A wine only license would provide a significant boost to Pennsylvania’s limited wineries and the state’s tourism industry. My legislation would encourage restaurant owners – particularly those in close proximity to a winery – to serve and promote locally produced wines. This would increase tourism revenues and strengthen the state’s growing wine industry.

The bill has the support of the Pennsylvania Wine Association (PWA). Association President Jonathan Patrono said such a law would give Pennsylvania wineries more outlets for their products and produce additional tax revenue for the Commonwealth. According to Patrono, Pennsylvania wineries host more than 1 million visitors annually and pump an estimated $2.4 billion into the state’s economy.

We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that this legislation will not have an adverse impact on existing licensees who have made a significant investment in their licenses. My goal is to promote further growth in the state’s wine industry and my bill is a good start. More hearings are planned.

Read other articles from Adams County Commissioners