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Hospitality tax may go to tourism development
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McMinnville officials are visiting the financial backing for tourism development.

Under consideration is providing the Tourism Development Board with revenue from a 5 percent hospitality tax, an annual donation, or both.
 “I would rather just give them a lump sum amount so they will know how to budget,” said Aldermen Mike Neal. “How do you budget from one year to the next if you don’t know what you’re getting? I’d like to guarantee them $60,000 so they know how to budget. If the tax comes in above that, give them that so they’ll have some number to budget on.”

The city provided the Tourism Development Board $75,000 in the 2017-18 fiscal year to start the newly developed board. However, the city was recently given approval by the Tennessee General Assembly to charge a 5 percent hotel tax with that money earmarked for tourism. That tax is estimated to generate approximately $60,000 annually.

Alderman Ben Newman suggested the city provide the board with all the tax revenue, as well as a lump sum.

“Maybe there’s a way we could say we’re going to give them all this (the tax) and if it goes up, that’s great, but maybe we should give them something in the upcoming year budget – give them this much for administration and this much for programs. That could be something we address when the budget cycle comes around.”

Alderman Everett Brock suggested the city review the tax revenue during each budget year and use that amount to decide how much additional funds to provide the board for the upcoming fiscal year.

Board members unanimously approved an ordinance to provide the tourism board with all the tax revenue as it is received by the city on a monthly basis. Within the wording of that document, officials can make an annual donation. Being an ordinance, one final passing read is required.