PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — COVID-19 discouraged people from traveling, and it is hurting our local counties.
Counties like Mercer County, receive a percentage of taxes from people staying in hotels or motels. According to Mercer County Commissioners, revenue from those taxes pays for anything recreational in the county, like Glenwood Park. It also pays for any fairs or festivals to which the county contributes.
Right now, the account is down to only a couple thousand dollars. Greg Puckett, Mercer County commissioner, told 59News there is usually considerably more than that in the account.
“We’ve got a list, basically a stack of people who have come to us for requests from the last four months. Because of the hotel motel tax being down, lack of travel and so on, we just don’t have that funding in reserve. A lot of our funds through hotel, motel, are already pre-committed,” Puckett said.
Because of the lack of revenue, the county can not give money to extra activities, like fairs and festivals. The commission could not give money to the Princeton Rescue Squad for its annual fireworks show. Typically, the county would give $3,000 for the firework show. In the Mercer County Special Commission Meeting on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, commissioners decided they had to focus on other necessary bills. Although the county will not be contributing, the Princeton Rescue Squad will still put on the fireworks show.