Each year the City of Richland receives funds from the room tax imposed upon hotels and motels located within the City. These funds can be retained by the City or can be expended for a narrow range of projects and activities established by State law.
To be considered for funding, proposals must meet criteria as established in State law (RCW 67.28.1815) and prohibits use of tax receipts for any other purposes. State law requires these funds be:
“…used solely for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost of tourism promotion, acquisition of tourism-related facilities, or operation of tourism-related facilities…”
Tourism promotion is defined in RCW 67.28.080 as “…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.”
In addition, City Council policy requires that proposals comply with the following criteria:
- Events/projects that produce a broad base for hotel/motel occupancy will be given higher priority over the financing of individual festivals, concerts, or shows.
- The City's hotel/motel tax grant should "leverage" other funds. Unless the requesting agency is sponsoring an event that depends largely on volunteer efforts, hotel/motel grants should consequently not exceed 30% of the function's total cash budget.
- A priority will be placed in off season programs and to those events which generate maximum economic benefit. Large events requiring overnight hotel stays should therefore be favored over smaller and/or single day events.
- Given the City Council's desire to establish Richland as a center of athletic and cultural excellence, grants should be focused toward sporting, cultural, and leisure events. Creation and promotion of activities and events directed at young professionals/families that visit the area will strongly be encouraged.
All applications will be reviewed by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) which will then make recommendations to the City Council. The final funding decision is up to the City Council. The LTAC places an emphasis on the following when evaluating each application:1.
- How many room nights will the project generate?
- How reliable is the information provided?
- Validation of room nights generated will be required and there may be a placement of $5/room night generated cap up to a maximum grant amount.
- Does the project promote Richland and Richland hotels/motels outside of the Bi-County area?
- The Committee favors providing seed money to new events.
- The LTAC encourages all events and organizations to work towards total self-sufficiency.
If the award is for co-sponsorship of an event, all recipients will be required to use the Richland logo in accordance with the logo specifications. If the award is not a co-sponsored event, the recipient will note on any advertising material that “Tourism support provided by the City of Richland” or “Hotel/Motel funds provided by the City of Richland”, whichever is preferred by the recipient.
Please complete the following application. Please use separate applications for each individual project/event. Applications must be submitted to the Communications and Marketing Office, Richland City Hall, 505 Swift Blvd.,MS 39, Richland, Washington 99352, no later than Friday, September 30, 2017 for 2018 funding. Any questions concerning the application process may be directed to Hollie Logan, Communications and Marketing Manager at 942-7386 or via e-mail at email@example.com.