By Josh O'Gorman, Stowe Reporter

Knight urged passage of H.298, a bill introduced during the most recent legislative session that would set aside 2 percent of rooms-and-meals tax receipts for the express purpose of marketing the state to tourists.

Among the bills sponsors is Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, R-Stowe.

“I’ve seen, over the years, how the market has changed. We’re not just competing with other New England states. We’re competing with the rest of the world,” Scheuermann said in an interview following the meeting.

“Our funding has remained static for years, while it has increased in other states.”

Scheuermann pointed to Maine, which does what her bill proposes to do, and has seen its marketing budget balloon to $15 million annually.

“This is an investment that will pay off for Vermonters,” Scheuermann said. “We can use the money for water clean up. We can use it to serve our most vulnerable Vermonters.”

The bill was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, and Scheuermann is confident it will receive more attention during the upcoming legislative session.

Molly Mahar, president of the Vermont Ski Areas Association and member of the Travel and Recreation Council, lauded Scheuermann for her efforts while expressing a need to find a supporter in the Senate.

“We need to find a Senate champion,” Mahar said. “We have Heidi Scheuermann on the House side, and we have a few people in the Senate we’ll be approaching.”