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2013/08/20 MASON COUNTY LODGING TAX ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES August 20, 2013 Attendance: Bonnie Knight, Duane Wilson, Kelly Bergh, Stephanie Rowland and Terri Jeffreys were in attendance. 1. The Chair called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. 2. Wilson/Knight moved and seconded to approve the March 19, 2013 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried unanimously. 3. 2013 Changes to Lodging Tax Law (House Bill 1253) - Cmmr. Jeffreys went over the history of the law and the recent changes. Most of the allowed uses remained, however there were significant changes to reporting requirements and to the process for the County Commissioners' approval of grant awards. 4. Heidi McCutcheon from the Shelton Mason County Chamber provided a report to the Committee regarding recent tourism promotion activities. 5. Financial Report - Cmmr. Jeffreys went over the financial report. 5.1. Allowed uses - Cmmr. Jeffreys explained that previous LTAC members created a policy that the best use of funds was for marketing outside of the county only. She was concerned about the effects of that policy on the general tourism promotion agencies. 5.2. Indirect costs - Cmmr. Jeffreys noted that the current indirect charge isn't adequate to cover to staff time. There is a proposal to use a formula approved by the State Auditor's Office to change the indirect charges to better reflect actual staff time. 5.3. Distribution of funds for 2014 - Cmmr. Jeffreys asked the Committee to consider allocating certain percentages of the fund for VICs, general tourism and festivals and events. She would also like to see multi-year contracts to provide consistency. Ms. Knight suggested that the general tourism promotion contracts include assistance with advertising for the festivals and events in order to save costs. The Committee discussed Ms. Knight's suggestion and how festivals and events could also use funding for advertising that is specific to their group. Ms. Rowland recommended determining the Committee's objectives before deciding on the allocation of funds. Cmmr. Jeffreys noted that the overall objective has been to promote tourism and to also contribute back to the fund through "heads in beds". She asked the Committee what role they felt that festivals and events played in tourism promotion. The Committee discussed how festivals and events could contribute to tourism and lodging stays. It was noted that there is currently very limited lodging capacity in the county. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes Page 2 August 20, 2013 Cmmr. Jeffreys noted that the 2013 the award percentages were 52% for general tourism 29% for VICs and 18.5% for festivals. She would like to see this type of formula because it provides incentive for the award recipients to be successful. The Committee discussed the potential for percentage allocations. There were concerns about allocating 100% of the fund because there wouldn't be enough flexibility if other opportunities came up. 6. 2014 application evaluation process—The Committee recommended several changes to simplify the application for the 2014 process. They also added a section for new events to receive additional points on the score sheet. 7. Schedule next meeting date—The Committee will meet on August 27, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss the application process for general tourism promotion and Visitor Information Centers. 8. The meeting adjourned at 4:07 p.m. LODGING TAX ADVISORY COMMITTEE MASON COUNTY, WASHINGTON ATTEST: Shannon Goudy, LTAC Clerk Chairperson