Beaufort City Council to review bed tax grant recommendations tonight

emoody@beaufortgazette.comApril 16, 2013 

Beaufort City Council will hear initial recommendations for how accommodation tax money should be doled out during its work session tonight.

A decision to move the Lt. Dan Band concert to The Citadel is expected to play into the recommendations. The Tourism Development Advisory Committee, which makes accommodation tax grant recommendations to City Council, had planned to recommend money go to the Independence Fund for the event, but chairman Jeff Evans said Friday that may change.

Accommodation tax awards typically are decided in late summer or early fall, but this year's process was delayed as the city considered ways to improve its system. The committee began soliciting applications in February.

The city has $196,000 to award, city manager Scott Dadson said. The accommodations tax, often referred to as a "bed tax," is a levy on overnight lodging to fund programs promoting tourism and attract visitors from out of the area.

The grants awards were evaluated on number of criteria, including the applicant's accountability and cooperation with other groups. Applicants should fit into at least one of four categories -- history and culture groups, events and festivals, the arts, or outdoor recreation.

Council will also discuss rules and regulations for Pigeon Point Park and a possible donation for the Spanish Moss Trail to help the Friends of Spanish Moss Trail meet a $600,000 match grant for construction. The next leg of the path will go south from Allison Road to Port Royal.

The work session immediately follows a 5 p.m. special meeting to approve an open container waiver for the Guild of Galleries for its Art Walk on April 19. It will take place at City Hall, 1911 Boundary St.

Check back with The Beaufort Gazette for a story following tonight's meeting and follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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