Member News – March 12, 2013

REMINDER -- THE MH&LA OFFICE HAS MOVED The MH&LA office is now at 839 Bestgate Road, Suite 400, Annapolis, MD 21401. The phone number is the same -- 410.974.4472 --  but the fax number is now 410.266.7463. MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE GOLF OUTING AND FISHING TOURNAMENT MH&LA's Annual Golf Outing and Fishing Tournament will be held on Monday May 6 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort , Spa and Marina in Cambridge. Registration and sponsorship opportunities information will follow soon. NEW TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PROPOSED Governor O'Malley and Legislative Leaders have proposed reducing the state gas tax by five cents and phasing in a 4% or 6% sales tax on the wholesale price of gas over the next three years (see article below). It also provides for automatic gas tax increases based on Consumer Price Index increases. SALES TAX LEVELS ON GAS PRICES DEPENDS ON FEDERAL INTERNET SALES LEGISLATION If Federal legislation authorizing states to collect sales taxes on online sales is approved, the sales tax increase on the wholesale price of gas will be 4% over two years. If the Federal legislation does not pass the sales tax increase on the wholesale price of gas, the sales tax applied will total 6% over three years. TRANSPORTATION FUNDING PROPOSAL CALLS FOR MASS TRANSIT STUDY AND LOCK BOX The proposal also includes provisions to create a work group to study regional transit financing authorities and other options for funding mass in metropolitan areas, and providing for a lockbox making it more difficult to transfer funds out of the transportation trust fund. EXPANDED GAMBLING UPDATE Following General Assembly approval of final table games regulations for  Maryland’s casinos,  Hollywood Casino Perryville is now offering table games. Maryland Live Casino at Arundel Mills will offer table games beginning on April 11. Both casinos are also now open 24 hours a day. MARYLAND LIVE CASINO HAS RECORD REVENUE Maryland Live Casino had a record $38.3 million in revenue in February despite a short month and the temporary removal of 700 video lottery terminals to accommodate table games. Overall, Maryland's casinos brought in $47.8 million in February, the second highest amount since last July. AMTRAK'S MAGAZINE WILL INCLUDE MARYLAND TOURISM GUIDE Amtrak's Arrive Magazine is accepting reservations for the 2nd annual Maryland Tourism Guide which will  be in the May/June issue. The guide will include editorial on Maryland destinations, events, and historic and cultural attractions. Contact Meredith Parks at Meredith.parks@mcmurry.com or 212-574-4395. ASAE MEETS TO PROMOTE VALUE OF GOVERNMENT TRAVEL A delegation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) met recently with officials in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to reinforce the high value of dialogue and idea exchanges between the public and private sector that occurs regularly at association meetings and conferences. NEW STUDY FORECASTS INCREASE IN TRAVEL SPENDING, HOTEL RATES TripAdvisor's 2013 TripBarometer study indicates that more than 40% of travelers are inclined to raise their trip spending in 2013 and 56% of hoteliers plan increases in room rates. The beach scene topped U.S. travelers' preference for a vacation, at 21%, followed by culture and adventure.

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