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Yes. The statute does not explicitly prohibit for-profit entities from applying for lodging tax funds. The purpose of the funds is to promote tourism in the jurisdiction by attracting individuals traveling over 50 miles away and encouraging overnight stays.
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Yes - you can apply. Please be as specific as possible when answering the LTAC questions. As your event develops, you will be required to keep the LTAC up to date.
All applications must include estimates of how funding the activity will result in increases in the number of people staying overnight, traveling 50 miles or more, or coming from another state or country. To ensure that the applicants are compliant with this statutory requirement, this information should be included in the lodging tax application form that will be filed with the city/county or the LTAC. There is no requirement that priority for funding is given to applicants expected to generate the largest number of tourists, and lodging tax revenue may still be awarded to recipients who provide services that indirectly increase tourism such as destination marketing organizations.
The Lodging Tax Grants that are provided by the Grant County LTAC are funded through the Lodging Tax applied to overnight stays within Grant County. Most major, incorporated cities within Grant County have their own LTAC that provides grants also, as you are probably aware. The tax revenues for overnight stays within those cities go back to those city LTACs to disperse.
Likewise, any overnight stays within rural Grant County (i.e. Mardon, Sunlakes, PUD parks, other non-city entities) generate lodging tax funds for the Grant County LTAC to disperse. Thus, the more overnight stays within rural Grant County, the more the LTAC funds received, and the more LTAC grants dispersed.
The basis of the question from the LTAC is how will this put more heads in beds that in rural Grant County? It is not necessarily a disqualifier or requirement but merely a question to get a feel for the impact countywide.
The 2023 Tourism Promotion Grant applications will be published on October 3, 2022 and will be open from October 3, 2022 through 5:00pm on Friday, October 21, 2022.
Cities and counties may levy lodging taxes on all charges related to furnishing lodging at hotels, motels, short-term rentals, and recreational vehicle (RV) parks for stays of less than30 days. Revenues received from these taxes are then restricted to the following uses:
All lodging tax revenues must be used for tourism promotion, acquisition of tourism-related facilities, or operation of tourism-related facilities (RCW 67.28.1815 and RCW 67.28.1816), including:
Counties may use the funds either directly, or indirectly through a convention and visitor’s bureau or destination marketing organization. Chapter 67.28 RCW demonstrates that it was the state legislative intent to provide local control over the use of lodging tax revenues and to provide for the distribution of this tax back to those organizations and agencies that promote tourism within the county. Definitions are provided in RCW 67.28.080. Of particular note are the following definitions:
No, not on the Phase 2 Grants. These are for events only. You must fill out an application for each event your wish to request funds for.
If you received a grant earlier in the year for year-round promotion - yes, you can.