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Juniata Township to Survey Campgrounds for Amusement Tax Ordinance

In a bid to enact an amusement tax ordinance in the coming year, Juniata Township Supervisors (Pennsylvania) discussed the work they’ve put into preparing during their monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

As per a report, Supervisor Greg Stein, who serves as board chairman, said that he created a questionnaire to collect data from township campgrounds.

“We are using satellite imagery to access the campgrounds. As best as I can tell, there are 25 campgrounds in Juniata Township. They consist of anywhere between one to 150 camps,” said Stein, noting he’s been working in coordination with the county tax assessment office.

Using the survey, the supervisors will collect information on campsite rates. 

“Rates per night, rates per week, I’d like to know that kind of information,” said Stein. “A lot of this information you can get online, but unfortunately, most camps don’t have websites. They are often heard about through signs or word of mouth.”

The survey also contains other questions.

I’d like to know if each campground has its own sewage pumping station. I am interested in knowing which campgrounds give you access to renting RVs, trailers, and boats. I also want to know how long the season lasts at each site,” he said.

Stein intends to send the data he collects to the campgrounds to get feedback to adjust rates for the amusement tax.

“We’ve had this discussion before. I ran some numbers, and I’m hoping next summer, significant money from the amusement tax ordinance will come in,” said Stein.

The township’s current amusement tax ordinance came into effect in September 2019. The amusement tax is anticipated to take effect in 2023.

“In September, the questionnaire will be sent out. We will use the opportunity to allow campgrounds to get ahead of the ordinance and adjust rates accordingly,” said Stein.

 “We need time to make sure they’re all set up and prepared. Reservations start as early as Jan. 1, so I want all of the campgrounds to know that it’s coming.”

Discussion of the amusement tax ordinance began after the idea of a resort was put forward. After the plan was halted, ordinance conversations were put on hold.

“There are still folks flying under the radar that we need to be in contact with so they can adjust rental prices. The purpose of the amusement tax ordinance is to avoid taxing residents,” said Stein.

Stein added that the town should receive federal rehabilitation funds to cover damages caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida in 2021.

“We originally thought the aid we would receive would be close to $45,000, but it’s, unfortunately, going to be lower. We don’t currently have an exact number, but we should find out soon,” he said, noting this is the first time the township has applied for any federal funding.

This story originally appeared on Huntingdon Daily News.


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