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Published on Friday, March 1, 2013

AWC priority lodging tax bill continues to move

Yesterday, the House Finance Committee passed a substitute version of HB 1253, which addresses the uses of local lodging tax revenue. AWC has been working collaboratively with counties and destination marketing groups to maintain the lodging tax uses granted by the Legislature in 2007. The substitute bill:

  • Allows cities and counties to continue funding the operations of non-profit organizations operating tourism-related facilities.
  • Prohibits lodging revenue from being used for capital expenditures of a facility owned by a non-profit. Capital funding may still be provided to a facility operated by a non-profit if it is owned by a public entity.
  • Allows revenue to be used to attract local travelers, not just tourists, and defines both terms.
  • Requires recipients of lodging taxes to submit estimates of tourism and local-traveler benefits with their funding applications and submit a post-event report of the actual benefits. The local government receiving these reports must submit them to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) and the local lodging tax advisory committee (LTAC). In turn, JLARC must submit reports detailing the use and economic impact of the revenue to specified legislative committees every two years.
  • Requires LTACs to prioritize all funding applications and submit the prioritized list and funding levels to the local government. The local government may only fund applicants on the list and must allow the LTAC to review any changes to funding levels.

We continue to perfect the bill’s language and ensure it is workable for cities. If you have feedback on the substitute bill, please send it to AWC’s Victoria Lincoln or Serena Dolly.

Categories: Budget & finance