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Niagara County plans higher hotel bed tax to fund tourist shuttle

The Discover Niagara Shuttle, which gives tourists and locals warm-weather rides on a route between Niagara Falls and Youngstown, may soon have a dedicated source of revenue.

The Niagara County Legislature voted Tuesday to ask the State Legislature to pass a law allowing the county to raise its "bed tax" on hotel and motel bills from 4 percent to 5 percent. The extra percentage point would go entirely to the shuttle. County Treasurer Kyle R. Andrews said that should equate to about $50,000 a year.

The county included $70,000 for the shuttle in this year's budget, so the tax would cover most of that. The county bed tax applies only to lodgings outside the cities of Niagara Falls and Lockport, which have their own bed taxes.

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