STUART - The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will support the hospitality industry's efforts for a county 2 percent bed tax.
"This effort is a wonderful example of a users' tax, which this chamber endorses over the option of taxing business," said Joe Catrambone, president of the chamber.
The chamber opposed a similar referendum in 1995 but is now "confident this board of commissioners will use the funds as intended," Catrambone said.
County voters will be asked on Sept. 10 to approve a tax plan that would add 2 percent to the cost of staying at a hotel, condominium or other short-term accommodation.
The tax is opposed by the county chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Republican Executive Committee in Martin County because "government money shouldn't be going into private industry," according to the groups.
The tax plan is expected to generate about $665,000 in the first year - going into effect Nov. 1 if approved in September - and possibly more than $1.2 million annually by 2007, chamber officials said.
Money generated by the tax would be used to market the county's tourism opportunities.