Clinton Council Tables Action Tourism Funds

Clinton City Council this week delayed approval of recommended allocations for investing money to promote tourism in town next year. Mayor McLean introduced Kay Addison, chair of the Accommodations Tax Committee, during this week’s October City Council Meeting.

Ms. Addison explained that the committee’s responsibility is to evaluate requests made and recommend expenditures to City Council. The committee oversees funds collected through a 2% accommodations tax paid by visitors who stay in hotels and motels within the city limits of Clinton. She explained the formula used to distribute the taxes collected.

 

  • The first $25,000 goes into the general fund.
  • Of the remaining money, 5% can go to the general fund.
  • 30% goes to a fund for advertising and promotion of tourism.
  • The remaining 65% is what the committee makes recommendations for, based on requests they receive for tourism related events.

This year, she said, the committee had $341,148.00 available. The reason for such a large amount is that they had previously appropriated funds for a project that was never completed. That money stayed in the account and was added to new taxes collected.

Here are the recommendations Ms. Addison presented council.

 

  • Clinton Canopy. $1,000 to produce a map directing visitors to parks and green space areas.
  • Scots and Brats. $15,000 for the event organized by Main Street Clinton.
  • Flight of the Dove. $25,000 to assist with the bicycling event that brings a large number of visitors to Clinton.
  • Presbyterian College. $50,000 to assist PC with improved lighting for their baseball field.
  • City of Clinton. $150,000 for a new welcome center. Along with this recommendation, the committee also suggested changing the terminology from “welcome center” to “visitors center”. The city had requested $250,000 with some of the funds to go toward advertising and promotion. Ms. Addison said that once the center is open, the committee could consider additional funding for that purpose.

 

Several council members expressed a desire to hold off on approval because they had not had time to evaluate the committee’s recommendations. Ms. Addison warned that the state has an option to penalize the city for not distributing the tax dollars for their intended purpose. When asked if there was a deadline, Ms. Addison said the state wants to have the funds distributed by November. She said she could ask for an extension.

Council Member Ronnie Roth made a motion that the issue be tabled to allow council time to study the recommendations of the committee. That motion was approved with a unanimous vote.