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LODGING TAX ADVISORY COMMITTEE (LTAC)
The City of Anacortes collects a tax on the furnishing of lodging by hotels and motels. State law (RCW 67.28.1816) allows the City to spend that lodging tax revenue only on:
(a) Tourism marketing;
(b) The marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists;
(c) Supporting the operations and capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by a municipality or a public facilities district created under chapters 35.57 and 36.100 RCW; or
(d) Supporting the operations of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by nonprofit organizations described under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) and 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(6) of the internal revenue code of 1986, as amended.
Lodging Tax Advisory Committee
RCW 67.28.1817 requires the City to have a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, appointed by the City Council, of:
(a) at least two members who are representatives of businesses required to collect tax under this chapter; and
(b) at least two members who are involved in activities authorized to be funded by revenue received under this chapter
The number of representatives from the two groups must be equal and the Committee must be chaired by an elected official. As of November 2016, the current membership of the committee is:
- Mark Lione
- Russ Olivier
- Erik Schorr
- Andy Stewart
- Karla Locke
- Nancy Dalton
- Matt Miller, City Council Chair
Members of the public interested in serving on LTAC should submit a City of Anacortes Talent Bank Application. All LTAC meetings are open to the public and all members must receive training on the Open Public Meetings Act.
Applications for Use of Lodging Tax Revenue
The City’s goals for the use of the lodging tax funds is to attract visitors to Anacortes, both for overnight stays and day trips. Tourist visits to Anacortes’s unique offerings of shopping, quality restaurants, and art galleries help ensure the economic vitality of these enterprises and the livelihood of downtown Anacortes. The City also intends lodging tax funds to:
- Increase hotel occupancy in Anacortes by extending length and frequency of overnight stays.
- Increase visitors and overnight stays during the off season (October–May).
- Provide visitor attractions and/or promote the area’s existing attractions including the Anacortes waterfront.
- Partner with other Anacortes organizations including government, nonprofit and for-profit enterprises.
- Attract more businesses to Anacortes to generate additional business for hotels and motels.
- Improve the City’s overall image to stimulate positive customer awareness.
- Demonstrate capacity to implement a successful and sustainable event or program.
LTAC reviews and comments on applications for use of the lodging tax revenue, and the City Council approves contracts for use of the revenue.
The program is open to applications from virtually any public or private non-profit entity with the demonstrated capacity to accomplish the proposed project. This includes public and private agencies such as museums and galleries, historical societies, art groups, and chambers of commerce.
New application forms for 2017 are now available (See top of this page for application). Applications will be accepted until close of business on October 10, 2016. Projects must be no more than one year's duration or one year's budget.
In 2013, the State amended RCW 67.28.1816 to require applicants to provide estimates and reports of how lodging tax funds spent results in increases in the number of people traveling for business or pleasure on a trip:
(i) Away from their place of residence or business and staying overnight in paid accommodations;
(ii) To a place fifty miles or more one way from their place of residence or business for the day or staying overnight; and
(iii) From another country or state outside of their place of residence or their business.