The Massachusetts Senate approved a first-of-its kind state tax for outdoor recreational businesses in the town of Charlemont. If approved, a three percent tax would be levied.
State Senator Adam Hinds said outdoor recreation activities, like white water rafting, fishing and skiing, are part of a growing industry in the area.
“[But] based on the revenue the town has, it’s hard to keep up with [fees for] basic emergency services,” Hinds said.
Charlemont has about 1,200 residents, making it one of state's least populated communities. That makes it tough to pay for services like ambulances, which are largely tied to property taxes.
Residents approved the tax measure on a ballot initiative last year.
Some of the larger outdoor businesses are in favor of the tax, but some business owners say they're already paying enough fees through things like hunting and fishing licenses.
The proposed tax must now be approved by the House, and once more by the Senate.