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AIBA has been involved in the Visitor Impact Task Force meetings to evaluate the use and distribution of Hotel Occupancy Taxs (HOT). In the final meeting on May 23, the Visitor Impact Task Force voted to leave local business out of funding recommendations. While AIBA has presented the case for local businesses' importance to tourism (see presentation documents here), the Task Force declined to support our efforts. The recommendations from the Task Force to City Council are just that—recommendations that can be accepted or changed. I will be visiting with council members throughout June to make a final appeal for local business. 

The Task Force was directed by City Council in City Council Resolution 20160818-075 to ”Make recommendations to the City Council about how to best utilize all hotel occupancy revenue to impact tourism by April 1, 2017.” There are basically two portions of funds being discussed: the current HOT funds and a proposed 2% increase in taxes. The 2% will only take effect if the city decides to expand the Convention Center. This 2% will initially be used to retire debt on the existing Convention Center. After an estimated two years, the 2% would be available for other uses. ACVB (including the Convention Center) and Cultural Arts receive all but a tiny portion of existing HOT funds. The Task Force did not touch the current funds distributed to ACVB and Cultural Arts and instead chose to only address the proposed 2% increase in HOT. AIBA was asking for .5% of HOT funds. Yes, that's one half of one percent.

Once again, there is no support for local bsuiness. We'll see if our City council chooses to support local business through these funds.

If you choose to take action, please email your City Council Member and support the request of .5% of HOT funds going to local bsuienss through AIBA.