JACKSON, Wyo. \u2014 With a statewide lodging tax approved and signed by the Governor on March 6, what will that mean for counties like Teton that already have a bed tariff in support of their own local tourism industry? \u201cNothing,\u201d said Travel and Tourism Board executive director Kate Sollitt. Well, that\u2019s admittedly the short, simple answer. But in truth, for the next two years, until 2022, nothing much will change for Teton County. The state\u2019s new 5% lodging tax will be split\u20143% to promote state tourism, 2% funneled back to counties and cities where it was collected. Since Teton County already has a 2% lodging tax on the books, little more than a clerical notation will need to be made. In addition, House Bill 134 also does not take full effect in each individual county or municipality currently exercising its own bed tax, until that law has run its course. Teton County voted to renew the 2% lodging tax for another four years in 2018. The 3% going to the state takes effect in January 2021. It will be paired with Teton County\u2019s current 2%, which means local hotels will be taxing lodgers 5% starting next year. Where the new statewide lodging tax could be a gamechanger is in the 2022 general election when Teton County residents could vote to renew the local 2% lodging tax again, or pass a lesser amount of, say, 1%. In other words, the lodging tax in Teton County will be 5% beginning in 2021. It could be pushed as high as 6% or 7% depending on what Teton County voters elect to do should the measure be put on the general election ballot. Two percent is the most any municipality or county can add to the statewide lodging tax. Teton County\u2019s lodging tax has always been hotly contested. In down years, economically, the notion has enjoyed great support. When tourists are flocking to Jackson Hole and the local infrastructure suffers, the sentiment is more: enough is enough. The positive PR for the \u201ctax you don't pay\u201d was helped immensely when the formula was changed just for Jackson Hole back in the 1990s from 90% tourism promotion and 10% tourism mitigation, to a 60-30-10 split\u2014 60% marketing, 30% visitation impact, and 10% into the general fund of town and county government. Further, recent tweaks to the state statute understanding of what constitutes \u201cpromotion\u201d has meant the Travel & Tourism Board (the local entity tasked with spending the funds generated by the tax) has been able to come up with more creative ways to help out local micro-events during the off-season. \u201cThe language is different now,\u201d Sollitt admitted. \u201cThey\u2019ve added an option to use digital content on social media, and allowed the staging of events in addition to the promoting of them, as well as funding educational materials and campaigns.\u201d And with the state facing a $200-million-a-year revenue deficit for the next few years, a dedicated funding source to promote the No. 2 industry is not a bad idea. \u201cFor the state, it allows them to plan better and be more competitive with other states as far as marketing. This is particularly helpful for counties that have been so dependent on mineral extraction,\u201d Sollitt said. Wyoming was 31st in the nation last year in tourism marketing spending, according to state tourism executive director Diane Shober. The bill was a close vote in the Senate\u201416 to 13 to pass with Sen. Mike Gierau for, Sen, Dan Dockstader against. The House passed the bill 39-19 with Reps. Jim Roscoe, Andy Schwartz, and Michael Yin voting for the measure.