Although their input will be limited to a simple “yea” or “nay,” Spokane Valley City Council members got a report on the recommendations from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee last week.
At the Oct. 29 meeting, the council did not verbalize any support or objections over the committee’s recommendation but did ask questions over the process. Due to legislative action earlier this year in Olympia, the council can no longer change the amounts suggested by the committee, it can only approve or deny.
Or – as in the case for a $247,000 allotment to Visit Spokane – “It’s either $247,000 or zero,” said Finance Director Mark Calhoun.
The lodging tax is collected by overnight stays in Spokane Valley hotels.
Council Member Arne Woodard suggested that, perhaps in the case of Valleyfest, the city should simply set aside a certain amount of money each year. City Attorney Cary Driskell said he would have to look into that further but said he believes that would subvert the intent of the state law.
“I know it could be done,” Woodard said.
Committee recommendations include:
- Visit Spokane, $247,000 (requested $280,000)
- Evergreen Regional Volleyball court expansion, $7,300 (requested $7,500)
- Spokane County Fair and Expo Center (marketing), $28,000 (requested $30,000)
- Spokane County Fair and Expo Center (conference facility), $4,000 (requested $12,000)
- Spokane County Fair and Expo Center (interim marketing), $7,800 (requested $8,000)
- Valleyfest, $20,000 (requested $50,000)
- Spokane Sports Commission $183,800 (requested $200,000)
- Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, $13,100 (requested $20,000)
- Friends of the Centennial Trail, $0 (requested $6,600)
- Liberty Lake Rotary Club, $0 (requested $5,000)
- HUB Sports Center, $36,000 (requested $40,000)
A discussion and motion on the issue have been scheduled for the Dec. 10 City Council agenda.