By DAVID KRIER
Boscobel’s two motels—The Sands and The River Inn—collected $25,772 in room taxes for the city in 2013, a 19.33 percent increase over 2012. Last Tuesday, the Commission overseeing those funds distributed them to nine organizations and tourist-related projects during their annual meeting.
“It’s the best year they ever had,” City Administrator said of the impact of the 5 percent room tax.
Boscobel first implemented a room tax in 1999 at a rate of 3 percent. Just over $14,000 was collected that first year. The rate was increased to 5 percent in 2004, and the city collected just over $21,000. Room tax collections increased slowly but steadily for the next three years before dropping to $19,111 when the recession struck in 2008.
After increasing to $20,415 in 2009, room tax revenues were steady in 2010 ($23,115), 2011 ($22,704) and 2012 ($21,600) before jumping 19.33 percent last year to $25,772.
Last Tuesday, the Room Tax Planning & Appropriation Commission allocated $27,050 total to the following groups using 2013 carryover funds from the fourth quarter and anticipated room tax revenues for 2014:
•$14,500: Boscobel Chamber of Commerce (For annual tourism-related expenses);
•$4,500: Boscobel Chamber of Commerce (For digital sign purchase and installation);
•$3,000: Discover Wisconsin TV/Radio/Internet advertising project;
•$2,500: Muskets & Memories promotion;
•$700: Wisconsin Avenue Radio and Flower Project;
•$500: Boscobel Antique Club;
•$500: River to Road triathlon;
•$500: Boscobel Area Council for the Arts (Missoula Children’s Theatre);
•$350: Southwest Wisconsin Two-Cylinder Club.