Lodging Tax Fund

Round 1 of the 2021 LTAX Fund Event and Non-Event RFP Application Process is now open. Applications are due January 8th, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Visit the City's Bids and RFP's page for more information and the application documents.

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.

2021 Updated Process due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

On September 24th the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) held a special meeting to discuss the 2020 budget shortfall and current budget predictions for 2021. In order to better assess the current climate and 2021 forecast for tourism marketing, operations, and event management the Committee decided to request a notice of intent to apply for 2021 Lodging Tax Funding. The submissions assisted the Committee and City staff in better understanding current allocation priorities and where assistance is needed most.

On November 12th the LTAC met to discuss the 2021 budget and calendar using the “Notice of Intent to Apply” forms and the Finance Department budget analysis. The Committee recommended Council approve a budget of $455,500 for 2021, with a request to be more flexible with allocations for 2021 due to the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee also approved there 2021 calendar, which includes TWO rounds of 2021 Lodging Tax RFP’s. A second RFP will be posted in May for the period of July 1 to December 31, 2021. Council approved the recommended Lodging Tax budget on December 1, 2020.

 If your organization is uncertain about operations in early 2021, you may submit a proposal in May. You may also submit proposals in both rounds for those periods of January 1–June 30 and July 1–December 31. 

Application Requirements

If you did not submit a “Notice of Intent to Apply form in October, you are still eligible to submit a proposal for LTAC consideration. For the application submission instructions and general requirements please see the last page of this application guide. The application is a separate document and there are different applications for event and non-event proposals. Make sure you are using the correct application. You may find it on the City’s “Bids and RFP’s” Page under the “Business” dropdown list.

If you are submitting multiple proposals under one organization, please include the details and application responses for all those proposals in ONE single application document. Your budgets and other supporting materials can all be included individually.

Who May Apply?

The 2021 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.

Selection Criteria

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.

State Regulations

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.