Jefferson City Council has $26K to Award in Hotel/Motel Tax Funds
July 21, 2016
The Jefferson city council at its July 12 meeting amended the policy for the use of funds generated by the hotel/motel tax to allow time for applications for funds in the policy’s third tier to be made after the amount of funds available is known. “Up for grabs” this year is $26,000 to promote tourism and convention business in the city of Jefferson.
The council approved a three tier policy in January for distribution of 80 percent of the funds generated by the 7 percent tax on hotel rooms. (Twenty percent is designated for parks and recreation, with the other 80 percent designated for the promotion of tourism and convention business in Jefferson.)
Tier One guarantees a maximum of $30,000 to the Greene County Chamber of Commerce on a reimbursement basis. The policy was amended earlier this summer to direct Tier Two funding, a maximum of $20,000, go to the Thomas Jefferson Gardens for construction of a Welcome Center. Tier Two was previously designated to the Chamber, but the Thomas Jefferson Gardens board has since taken over that project and the policy was changed accordingly.
The remaining hotel/motel tax revenues are available to IRS-exempt organizations for projects that promote and encourage tourism and convention business in the city. The amount of money in Tier Three will fluctuate from year to year, depending on hotel/motel room occupancy and rates. The total hotel/motel tax revenue was estimated to be in excess of $80,000 per year; the first $50,000 is allocated through Tiers One and Two. Per the policy, the Chamber of Commerce can compete for Tier Three funds.
City clerk Diane Kennedy told the city council that she learned the total amount for fiscal year 2016 on June 29, with $26,000 available after Tiers One and Two are met.
The deadline set in the January version of the policy for applications for Tier Three funds was July 1. The council determined that more time should available so groups know how much money is available before they apply.
The policy was amended by a motion of the council to change the Tier Three deadline to Sept. 1.