File #: 23-0262    Version: 1
Type: discussion Status: Filed
File created: 3/14/2023 In control: Social Justice & Equity Commission
Agenda date: 4/24/2023 Final action: 4/24/2023
Title: Discussion on Lodging Tax Application and Award Process Improvement
Attachments: 1. 2023 Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Funding Recommendation, 2. 2023 Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Application
Discussion on Lodging Tax Application and Award Process Improvement

Recommended Action
Information only. No action requested.

Discussion on the City of Olympia Lodging Tax application and award process

Staff Contact:
Mike Reid, Economic Development Director, Office of Community Vitality, 360.753.8591
Amelia Layton, Program Specialist, Community Planning and Development, 360.570.3808

Mike Reid, Economic Development Director

Background and Analysis:
Each year City leadership and Council identify a slate of items in their "Annual Work Plan", one of those items this year is to "Update Lodging Tax policies, priorities, and application criteria". City staff would like to brief the Social Justice and Equity Commission about this project and obtain insight on opportunities for improvements aimed at ensuring a more equitable process and the inclusion of DEI principles in the application, distribution, and review criteria.

Council last developed review criteria in 2007. This criteria is articulated in the Lodging Tax Application that is attached to the staff report.

Lodging taxes and their use are governed by RCW 67.28.1816 and are fairly rigid in what qualifies as an acceptable use of funds. It is a fairly complex taxing program but simply stated it is a tax that is generated by guests staying at local hotels and the funds generated by this tax are required to be utilized on facilities and activities that draw in visitors for a minimum of 50 miles away. Successful awarded applicants are required to provide information on the impact of their funding to the City, which then is provided to the State via the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.

The City has a committee (Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, referred to as LTAC) that reviews applications annually and provides a recommendation to the City Council. The make-up of this committee is also governed by RCW 67.28.1816. Per RCW the LTAC must contain at least five member...

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