IT LOOKS LIKE THERE MAY BE SLIGHT SLOWDOWN OF TRANISENT LODGING TAX COMING OUT OF TRIC DUE TO A PESKY COUNTY ORDINANCE.
AND THERE IS A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME ENERGETIC PERSON WHO WANTS TO TAKE OVER THE PROMOTION, DISTRIBUTION AND SALES OF CEMETERY GIN FROM VCTC. SEE DENY DOTSON!
By Nicole Barde
This month’s meeting was at the VC Conference Center and there were about 3 other “public” members there besides me. The link to the entire meeting packet can be found HERE
This was a very short meeting with little in the way of new information. Both the Tourism Tax and Transient Lodging tax seem to be on track with the budget. One interesting thing here is that it seems that one of the hotels out at TRIC is going to become an “extended stay” operation. Extended stay is anything over 28 nights. Once it becomes extended stay they don’t have to pay the transient lodging tax. Needless to say Executive Director Deny Dotson and county Comptroller Hugh Gallagher have already baked in the future revenues of these hotel/motels into the budget. So this is an alarming development.
So that’s the bad news……the good news is that the only thing standing between collecting the lodging tax and a budget shortfall is a county ordinance. This means that the County Commission will likely remove or greatly increase the ceiling for extended stay so as to collect the tax. Another development out at the TRIC “hotel row” is that the Marriott’s is way behind schedule on building their property. It seems that the lender isn’t happy with the general contractor. Needless to say…yet more revenues that won’t be flowing into VCTC coffers when expected.
A bit of good news though is that both the Cobb mansion and the “b” Street B&B are back online and that adds room inventory to the town.
During the budget review Deny showed the balance sheet for the first time and although it looks to be coming along nicely it as well as the overall budget is missing data. This is because Hugh will not release the final numbers for the special events until all the bills have come in and they have been audited. This is a good practice although it does delay the full picture of where they stand on the budget. Cemetery Gin has a lot of inventory on its hands but Deny says it will move soon enough.
Just a note here to say that the VCTC has been trying to find someone to take on the promotion, distribution and sales of Cemetery Gin. They are not a liquor distributorship and need to get out of that business SO….if you know someone who may be interested in taking this off their hands please contact Deny directly.
Meanwhile, we have Lance Gilman to thank for the line item budget that we have been seeing at the VCTC and the rest of the county’s departments. With line item budgeting you get to see where every penny goes. Now…..that’s not to say that there can’t be shenanigans….but it’s harder to hide them…
Since High hasn’t released the final numbers for the Rodeo or Camel races the Special events update was lacking any real information except to say that the Outhouse races had a good crowd again this year and that the merchants all had positive comments.
Something to note here is that Liquid Blue had asked the Delta Saloon if they could use that parking lot to stage some of the vendors. Since the Delta actually makes parking money from that lot they couldn’t just give it awy….it would result in a loss of revenue. So what Liquid Blue and VCTC offered in exchange was the use of the courthouse parking lot which was manned by Delta employees charging their usual fee for parking.
The reason I bring this up is that we were told by Pat Whitten is a recent Commission Meeting that the County does not charge for parking. That the county will allow non-profits and the school in particular to charge for parking as part of a fund raiser. When I drove by the courthouse on Saturday and saw the parking attendant collecting the fee I was confused…so I asked about it at the VCTC meeting and they clarified it.
Lastly I asked about the status of the appraisal and sale of the Fairgrounds and was told that it was all on hold until next year.