INDIANAPOLIS–On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee passed Senate Bill (SB) 164 with a vote of 22-1. Authored by State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend), SB 164 provides for an increase in the innkeeper’s tax rate in St. Joseph County.

“SB 164 will have a beneficial impact on South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County, and I’m thankful that this bill is continuing to move through the legislature with strong bipartisan support.” Sen. Niezgodski said.

SB 164 creates a tourism capital investment fund (TCIF), similar to the Regional Cities Initiative, to award investment money to projects that submit an application for funding. The bill also specifies projects throughout St. Joseph County that are certain to become highly successful and stimulate greater overnight stays.

“I want to thank everyone within my community for their strong measure of support, which was essential to bring this 21st century tourism bill closer to reality,” Sen. Niezgodski stated. “SB 164 shows a strong bipartisan commitment to adding further tourism to the South Bend, Mishawaka and St. Joseph County region. This proposal would be very impactful for my community, and I look forward to its continued advancement through the General Assembly and onward to Governor Holcomb’s desk.”

SB 164 will now move before the full House for further consideration.