Lodging Tax Fund

State Regulations | Non-Event Fund Selection | Event Grant Selection | Selection Criteria

2020 Non-Event and Event Applications and Guidelines

Port Angeles’s Lodging Tax Fund is the primary source of City funding for activities, operations, and expenditures designed to increase tourism. The City does not make any multi-year commitments for tourism promotion services. However, service providers are not limited or prohibited from making annual requests of the same nature or subsequent phase.

The City intends to maintain a reserve in the Fund and will assess on an annual basis how much of the Fund to appropriate in a given year. The Port Angeles City Council has created a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to conduct an annual process to solicit and recommend Lodging Tax funded services for City Council consideration. The City of Port Angeles will only consider proposals for use of the Lodging Tax Fund from public and non-profit agencies. Annual Event Grants 

Who May Apply?

The 2020 Non-Event Lodging Tax funding program is open to non-profit tourism organizations with the demonstrated ability to achieve tourism goals as outlined below. Event grant applicants may be for profit entities. 

  • Increase hotel occupancy in Port Angeles by creating overnight stays.
  • Increase overnight stays during the off season.
  • Provide visitor attractions and/or promote the area's existing attractions.
  • Attract more businesses to Port Angeles and thereby generate additional business for hotels and motels.

As a result of State Legislative changes made in the 2013 session, all applications must include estimates of how funding the activity will result in increases to people staying overnight, travelling 50 miles or more, or coming from another state or country. To ensure this data is collected, the City is now required to have applicants provide additional information in the lodging tax application.






State Regulations

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State Law Defining the Use of Lodging Tax
The Washington State Legislature enacted changes to the laws governing the use and reporting of lodging tax revenues with the passage of ESHB 1253 in the 2013 legislative session. These changes, in part, established requirements for reporting information on the use of lodging tax which have been incorporated into the Lodging Tax/Tourism Promotion application. Revised Code of Washington (RCW), Chapter 67.28 'Public Stadium, Convention, Arts and Tourism Facilities' provides detailed information about the use, award and reporting of tourism funds.

RCW 67.28.1816 – Use of Lodging Tax Fund.
Lodging tax revenue under this chapter may be used, directly by any municipality or indirectly through a convention and visitor’s bureau or destination marketing organization for:

  1. Tourism marketing;
  2. The marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists;
  3. Supporting the operations and capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by a municipality or a public facilities district created under chapters 35.57 and 36.100 RCW; or
  4. Supporting the operations of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by nonprofit organizations described under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) and 26 U.S.C. Sec 501(c)(6) or the internal revenue code of 1986, as amended.

RCW 67.28.080 – Definitions.
"Municipality" means any county, city or town of the state of Washington.
"Operation" includes, but is not limited to, operation, management, and marketing.
"Person" means the federal government or any agency thereof, the state or any agency, subdivision, taxing district or Municipal Corporation thereof other than county, city or town, any private corporation, partnership, association, or individual.
"Tourism" means economic activity resulting from tourists, which may include sales of overnight lodging, meals, tours, gifts, or souvenirs.
"Tourism promotion" means activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
"Tourism-related facility" means real or tangible personal property with a usable life of three or more years, or constructed with volunteer labor, and used to support tourism, performing arts, or to accommodate tourist activities.
"Tourist" means a person who travels from a place of residence to a different town, city, county, state, or country, for purposes of business, pleasure, recreation, education, arts, heritage, or culture.



 

 


Non-Event Selection and Award Process

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Port Angeles Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Considerations

In developing its recommendations, the Committee considers:

  • The estimated amount of Lodging Tax Fund available for the coming year as provided by the City’s Finance Office.
  • Thoroughness and completeness of the proposal.
  • Percent of the proposal request to the event/facility promotions budget and overall revenues.
  • Percent of increase over prior year Port Angeles Lodging Tax funded proposals, if any.
  • Projected economic impact within the City of Port Angeles, in particular projected overnight stays in Port Angeles lodging establishments.
  • The applicant’s financial stability.
  • The applicant’s history of tourism promotion success.
  • Committee member general knowledge of the community and tourism-related activities.
  • Port Angeles City Council Lodging Tax Fund Recommendations


2020 Approved Lodging Tax Budget

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee met on September 18, 2019 and discussed several items relating to their priorities and goals, budget allocation for the City’s fund for 2020, review criteria for the 2020 Lodging Tax fund (non-event) and event applications and the term length of the Committee members.

The Committee approved five motions during their meeting.

The Committee’s second motion occurred following extension conversation on allocation. It included discussion on setting funds aside for committee priorities as well as the amount allocated to each category in accordance with the Revised Code of Washington. The estimated 2020 revenue the City anticipates from lodging tax is $707,800. The Committee’s recommended allocation, which was approved by the City Council on October 1, 2019 is described below:

Proposed Budget Allocation for Lodging Tax Fund 2020

  • 30% toward Capital (capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by the City) = $212,340
  • 5% toward Committee Priorities = $35,390
  • 20% toward Marketing (to support tourism) = $141,560
  • 33% toward Operations (operations of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by the City or a nonprofit organization) = $233,574
  • 12% toward Events (marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists) = $84,936





Event Grant Selection and Award Process

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The grant funding supports community events intending to attract visitors from outside the North Olympic Peninsula Region. The application process is intended to ensure that the revenue created by the City’s lodging tax is administered in a way that will generate the most benefit to local businesses and lodging facilities. Please note that there have been some changes to the application and scoring criteria this year.

On August 21st, 2018 the City Council passed a resolution of guided policy for the administration of the Lodging Tax Fund, including the following specific direction for allocation of Event Grants:

  • In determining the recipients and amounts of event grants, priority shall be given to events held Mid-October through Mid-May. The Lodging Tax Committee is expected to consider this timeframe relative to the percentage of grants awarded and dollars received.
  • For events receiving grants of lodging tax funds, in addition to the funds awarded to support the event, additional funds shall be allocated for City right-of-way, traffic control, and utility expenses in conjunction with events receiving awards.

The policies strive to incentivize and place more emphasis supporting new events, and events occurring outside the peak tourist season (Mid-October through Mid-May). Those events located outside the Mid-May to Mid-October peak tourist season will be given funding priority through the grant scoring criteria. Overall focus for your application should be demonstrating the positive lodging impacts of your event. Funding may be used for the marketing and operations of an event. Funding will not be allocated for the purchase of equipment or the improvement of property.

All events requiring City services will be asked to participate in a pre-event meeting. Events receiving funding will also have a contractual obligation to contact, inform, and work cooperatively with neighbors and businesses potentially impacted by the event.

Recipients of lodging tax funding for events will be required to link to the www.visitportangeles.com website; use the “Visit Port Angeles” logo on all apparel reimbursed through the grant; and contractual permission to allow “Visit Port Angeles” representatives and surveyors to speak with guests at the event.

Included in the 2020 Lodging Tax Fund budget is $20,000 for City traffic control and utility expenses in conjunction with events receiving awards. This budget money is not intended to cover permit fees required for your event, but rather the additional City related expenses that are required to ensure your event occurs safely. The application coversheet asks whether you anticipate your event to require any of these supportive expenses. These expenses will now be covered outside of your specific event budget and are not required to be included as a part of the grant request application. The incorporation of estimates of City service need in the application can ensure availability for coverage.

The 2020 Lodging Tax Event Grant Application consists of a cover page delegated to contact information and an application questionnaire. All information must be filled out completely and attachments presented in the order designated on the coversheet, or the application will be deemed incomplete.

The Community and Economic Development Department understands that newer events may have trouble answering some of the event related questions in the questionnaire but asks that the questions be answered to the best of the applicant’s ability.






Selection Criteria

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Funding of the program and specific awards are dependent on recommendations of the City's Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC). The LTAC will receive all applications and recommend a list of candidates and funding levels that will be forwarded to the Port Angeles City Council for final determination. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Non-Event Fund Criteria
The LTAC will review, score, and provide a recommendation based upon City Council guided Lodging Tax Fund policies. The weighted scoring system is based on the following criteria:

  1. Overall tourism impact to the City/Region. (30 pts.)
  2. Demonstrates a high potential, or a proven track record, to result in overnight stays by tourists in lodging establishments within the City. (25 pts)
  3. Achieves the LTAC priorities. (20 pts.)
  4. Demonstrates high value to community (cost/ anticipated local revenue and tax generation). (20 pts.)
  5. Strong relationship to support activity within the non- demand periods of the year. (5 pts.)

Event Grant Criteria
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee will review all applications and provide scoring based on the following criteria:

  1.  Demonstrates a high potential, or a proven track record, to result in overnight stays by tourists in lodging establishments within the City. (30 pts.)
  2. Occurs within the non-demand periods of the year. (20 pts.)
  3. Overall tourism impact to the City/Region. (15 pts.)
  4. Demonstrates high value to community (cost/anticipated local revenue and tax generation. (15 pts.)
  5. Achieves the LTAC priorities. (15 pts.)
  6. Age of event (1 year = 5 pts, 1-2 years = 4 pts, etc.) (5 pts.)

The Community and Economic Development Department understands that newer events may have trouble answering some of the event related questions in the questionnaire but asks that the questions be answered to the best of the applicant’s ability.