City Council Discusses Creation of Marketing District

The concept of a marketing district in Lamar was briefly discussed during the city council’s work session on Monday, June 27.  A marketing district would parallel some actions of the Lodging Tax Panel, but would derive its funding from an additional tax on lodging in Lamar only, not the entire county.  A different set of by-laws would allow the funds to be used for some capital purchases and hiring a full time and part time staff to promote events in the city as well as be applied directly for continued economic development.  Pat Palmer, area businessman and current president of the Lodging Tax Panel, had asked that the issue be placed on the work session schedule for discussion.  The idea of a marketing district was first proposed in 2007, but only progressed as far as an outline of events needed to establish such a district in the county.

The creation of the marketing district would be similar to the procedures used to develop the Lodging Tax Panel.  A petition to create a ballot question for a November election must be circulated and approved.  One of the stipulations in 2007 was that it would be necessary that the owners of 50% of the assessed valuation of commercial real estate in Prowers County sign the petition for presentation to the county commissioners.  That could be a small number of owners, depending on which businesses sign the petition.  The more the appraised value of the property, the fewer number of signatures would be required. The initiators of the petition must provide a bond to cover the cost of placing the question on the ballot originally estimated at from $10,000 to $12,000.  The service area must be defined, either a city, cities, or the entire county, as well as a municipal governing body such as the city or county. 

City attorney, Garth Nieschburg, said it would probably be too late to attempt the November elections this year, but efforts could begin in February or March of next year for the 2012 election.  The county assessor must also be approached to generate a current listing of property owners, and the tax would be placed only on motels within the Lamar city limits.  Palmer said the new marketing tax would be 4% in addition to the 2% motel tax which funds the Lodging Panel.  He explained that given the average cost of an overnight room in Lamar, the tax would be minimal, in the neighborhood of $2 to $3, and there have been little if any complaints from tourists on the cost of the current Lodging Tax for the years it has been levied.  The only people who will be taxed are those using motels in Lamar.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: CommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyFeaturedLamarTourism


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.