Scranton, Lackawanna County - If you have family or friends from out of town planning to stay in Lackawanna County, they'll soon have to shell out more money.
The state has signed off on a plan to allow Lackawanna County to raise its hotel tax.
The current rate is four percent.
It will soon jump to seven percent.
Lackawanna County commissioners must still formally approve the measure they have already voiced support of the measure.
All of the money will go back into the region's tourism industry.
At the Hilton Hotel in Scranton, managers aren't upset.
"Whether it's Philadelphia that has a higher tax than us or Pittsburgh or New York City, we all know what those taxes are, it's not a big concern to us at all," Lori Rupp said. Rupp is the Hilton Hotel's Director of Sales & Marketing.
County leaders, who have been pushing for the increase, say the extra money will go towards promoting the region as a tourist destination. They hope the tax increase will bring in an additional $2 million annually.
"Folks don't hear a lot about the visitor's bureau locally because most of our money, 95-percent of it, is spent out of the area, 50 miles and outside to bring people here," Tracy Barone said. Barone is the Executive Director of the Lackawanna County Convention & Visitor's Bureau.
State Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich says Lackawanna County joined Adams and Erie counties in looking for the hotel tax increase.
"Anything we can do to promote tourism and bring people into northeastern Pennsylvania is only a benefit," Kavulich said.
Hotel managers aren't concerned the increased tax will drive customers away to neighboring counties, like Luzerne County, where the hotel tax is only five percent.
They say it will only be a few dollars.
Siobhan Becker, who is visiting Scranton from Long Island, says the slight increase wouldn't change her travel habits.
"Not really. If it's only a couple of dollars," Becker said.