Logo Credit: City of Yelm Facebook page
– Editor’s note:
The City of Yelm under Mayor Harding had amassed a rather large balance of Hotel/Motel Tax funds in the city’s coffers of approx. $167,000 on Jan. 13, 2015 when the Yelm City Council approved the establishment of a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC). The Council defined the duties/functions of the committee and established an effective date, yet there was no follow-up. After languoring with no update for months, on July 27, 2015, the former Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) made the first of several formal requests to the mayor and council to adhere to the Yelm Municipal Code (YMC) and form a committee to get underway on funds dissemination, required under conditions set by state law.
Finally, almost three years after the YBA’s prompting, Yelm is taking applications to disburse the approximately $230,000 accrued to-date. BRAVO!
– “TOURISM FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR COMMUNITY PROJECTS AND EVENTS”
“Reinvigorating the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), which awards funding to community organizations to promote tourism in Yelm, is one of Mayor Foster’s priorities and was supported in the 2018 City budget adopted by Council. The City of Yelm is excited to announce we are now accepting grant award applications for special events, projects and programs in 2018 and 2019 that measurably increase tourism.
“The Mayor and City Council appointed members of the LTAC who will evaluate and approve grant applications for the following activities, as authorized by state law:
* Tourism marketing promoting the City of Yelm;
* Marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists;
* Projects and programs that attract and guide visitors to Yelm.”
“Approximately $230,000 in total funds is available in the LTAC account, which has accrued over the years and not been invested back in the community. For this first round of applications, no specific limit of funds has been set for 2018 and 2019. Going forwarded, the LTAC plans to allocate the entire annual collection of Lodging Tax Revenue for grant awards, minus ten-percent to create a reserve account that can be used to create a large event, facility, or venue of significant magnitude in the future. Approximately $20,000 is generated each year,” quoting The City of Yelm media release, May 8, 2018.
Blogger Klein is a former Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) Secretary and founding Board member.