Beaufort council considers accommodations tax requests

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Beaufort council considers accommodations tax requests



By ERIN MOODY
emoody@beaufortgazette.com
843-706-8184

Published Tuesday, September 13, 2011   |  350 Words  |  

With recommendations about awarding accommodations tax money in hand, Beaufort City Council on Tuesday discussed who should get the money and how it should be spent.

Council is focused this year on following more closely the ordinance that requires the money to be spent on marketing outside the area to draw tourists to Beaufort.

Mayor Billy Keyserling and Councilman Mike Sutton were concerned about how thin dollars are spread when organizations ask for one amount but receive a much smaller chunk.

"Someone asks for $5,000, they get $1,500, how does a group take that money and make it work?" Sutton asked.

With a variety of organizations requesting funds, some concern exists about duplication -- groups spending money and effort to do the same thing.

The organizations are diverse, and while Tourism Development Advisory Committee member Chip Dinkins sees some potential for consolidation among them, he is also concerned that a larger organization would not have the same appeal to tourists that several small groups have.

The TDAC recommendations include funding for eight organizations and deny money to two.

Here are the recommendations for distributing the $155,000:

  • The Arts Council of Beaufort County requested $5,000; $1,500 recommended
  • The Beaufort Film Society requested $15,000; $8,500 recommended
  • The Black Chamber of Commerce requested $25,000; $10,000 recommended
  • The Original Gullah Festival requested $20,000; $5,000 recommended
  • Lowcountry Tourism requested $16,800; $15,000 recommended
  • Main Street Beaufort USA requested $72,000; $37,000 recommended
  • Visitor and Convention Bureau requested $100,000; $72,000 recommended
  • USCB Performing Arts Center: requested $6,000; $6,000 recommended
  • Historic Beaufort Foundation requested $8,999; no money recommended
  • Penn Center requested $20,000; no money recommended
  • TDAC committee members said the Penn Center does not need additional money from the city and that the grant given to the organization last year was not spend on outside marketing.

    The Historic Beaufort Foundation did not provide the committee a plan on doing marketing outside of the area, according to the

    recommendations.

    Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.