Lodging Panel Funds Patriotism Run, Increases Contingency Account


Lodging Tax Panel logo sml


Three of four requests before the Prowers County Lodging Tax Panel were approved this past Tuesday, August 18; Paint the Plains for Patriotism 5K, Welcome Center Ft. Collins visit and the annual Fall Car Show & Toys for Tots.

A 5K run/walk, the Paint the Plains for Patriotism event, will be held on the same day as the 3rd annual 9/11 on Saturday, September 12 at Willow Creek Park. Organizers had requested $1,300 for regional advertising and were funded by the panel for $1,040. Citizens are encouraged to take part in the 5pm event which features ‘coloring’ stations at which participants get sprayed with dyed cornstarch colors of red-white and blue. The non-toxic coloring is washable and the $10 entry fee includes a tee shirt for the event. More information is available from Kendra Cope at 688-5465.

State welcome centers periodically visit other centers throughout Colorado to become more conversant with each community’s tourism based attractions. Lamar’s center will host a visit from the Ft. Collins operation September 23-24 and the Lodging Tax Panel approved the $1,600 estimate for meals and overnight lodging. A guided tour of locations in southeast Colorado will be held that Thursday.

Ron Cook, organizer of the annual Toys for Tots Car and Motorcycle show during Lamar’s Oktoberfest said, “This will be the 19th year we’ve conducted this event and we’re happy to see it continue to grow. It brings people into the community and raises funds for the Toys for Tots holiday campaign each year.” Last year’s event raised $2,438 in cash as well as numerous toy donations for Darlene Lopez and her staff. Cook had requested $2,000 to help defray advertising expenses and the Panel approved $1,600 for marketing. The event will be held October 3rd at the Lamar Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Oktoberfest. A fun run and games of skill on motorcycles will be displayed along East Beech Street in Lamar.

Panel members discussed a long running topic of concern, a means of determining the accuracy of reimbursements to the panel from the State Department of Revenue based on the 1.9% tax levied on motel room use in the county. The state recently sent the panel a check for $23,588, bringing the current balance to $29,290 with $7,000 in stand-by contingency fees. But again, panel members stated they had no way of knowing which quarter of the year the payment has been based on for taxes collected by area motels, or if any of the motels are delinquent in their payments as that information is confidential. The Prowers County Commissioners recently addressed this with a state representative and a follow-up meeting will be scheduled for a conference call during the panel’s next meeting. Commissioner Wendy Buxton-Andrade said one caveat is a community’s status as being ‘home rule’. “Because Weld County is home rule, they do not have to send their funds to the state. They collect their own taxes,” she explained. Buxton-Andrade said because Lamar is a home rule city, they could pass a marketing tax on a ballot vote and not have to report the tax proceeds to the state. The state does collect a 3% fee for administering the account for the county. Discussion of developing a separate marketing tax which allows a broader use of funds was also mentioned.

Panel members expressed some skepticism that the state does a 20 day turnaround on the collected taxes before it’s reimbursed to the communities. Panel President, Pat Palmer, said, “We still need to know what we get our checks for. We need to make some headway on that with the state official.” The Panel also voted to add another $7,000 in contingency fees, bringing the balance to $14,000. Tax Panel manager, Carla Scranton, said at this point; there are no future funding obligations before the Panel.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessCityCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEntertainmentFeaturedGranadaHollyLamarProwers CountyRecreationTourismWiley


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.