BOSCOBEL - The city of Boscobel Room Tax Commission met on Monday, Feb. 17 to discuss funding request from 11 city organizations. On Friday, Feb. 21, City Administrator Misty Molzof released the Commission’s decision, with an explanation of the process involved.
“We would like to start off by saying thank you to those that applied for Room Tax monies and took the time to come in and discuss your event or program with us,” Molzof said. “While we would like to give the amount you requested to each and every one of you and are thankful that you have selected Boscobel as your community of choice to hold these events, that is just not possible.
“After the meeting the other night, the Room Tax Commission reviewed the rules and regulations surrounding Room Tax money and discussed the ‘Proper and Improper Use of the Monies.’ After a very thorough discussion and evaluation of each and every application, the following decisions were made. It is imperative that there are certain requirements that be met before awarding Room Tax funds to applicants.”
• Is the applicant a current member of the Boscobel Chamber of Commerce? The answer has to be yes.
“This is a requirement because we feel that the Chamber offers a valuable service to those that are members and their ability to assist with advertising and promotion should be used in conjunction with these funds,” Molzof said.
• Does the applicant provide “tourism promotion and development”? Answer has to be yes.
See Information in “Wisconsin Room Tax Law, A Basic Primer” under “What can Room Tax Revenue be spent on?” (marketing projects to attract tourists, tourist informational services, or municipal development significantly used by tourists).
• Is there public accountability with the organization? The Commission is required to report on how the funds were spent on “Tourism promotion and development.” In order to do this, the Commission may be asking for copies of invoices, ads, etc from organizations receiving the funding in order to be able to provide this accountability.
• Does the organization/event generate paid overnight stays in the local lodging properties? This is imperative because it is the source of the Revenues and in order to increase revenues, the organizations receiving the funds should be encouraging overnight stays in the local motels.
• Is the applicant the local Chamber of Commerce and if so, are they focusing on tourism, marketing the area, and attracting tourists to stay overnight in local motels?
Based upon these questions, and reviewing the applications with the Proper and Improper Use guidelines as sent out to the Commission on Friday, February 14, the following decisions were made:
• Boscobel Youth Baseball & Softball: $0 was awarded because the criteria was not met. The group had requested $1,000.
• GAR Hall – As requested, $1,000 was awarded in hopes that the necessary work be done and advertising be done to get tourists to visit and hopefully stay overnight at the local motels. These funds will be available after April 30.
• Boscobel Fire Department – As requested, $1,500 was awarded for the qualifying event as police staffing at local parades and fireworks is an eligible expense (see Wisconsin Room Tax Law, A Basic Primer). These funds will be available after April 30.
• Boscobel Depot - $1,400 was awarded to cover the projected costs as listed on the Application – Depot Days $700 + Advertising $700. These funds will be available after July 31. The Depot Committee had requested $3,500.
• Wisconsin River Trail Organization - $0 was awarded because the criteria was not met. The organization had requested $5,000.
• Boscobel Beautification Committee - $0 was awarded to this organization as the criteria was not met. The group had requested $5,300.
• Boscobel Antique Club - $1,000 was awarded as we felt the events promote Tourism and generate overnight stays at the local motels. The funds will be available after July 31. The club had requested $5,800.
• City Website Upgrade and include Chamber on City Website - $6,000 was awarded to this as it is considered “Proper use of Room Tax Revenues.”
• Farmer’s Market - $1,500 was awarded to this organization as it is a qualifying event and the advertising and promotion of Boscobel for Tourism is wide spread enough that there is a chance it generates overnight stays at the local motels. These funds will be available after July 31. The market had requested $6,000.
• Reliving Our Heritage - $0 was awarded to this organization as the criteria was not met. The group had requested $6,000.
• Boscobel Chamber of Commerce was awarded $15,000 for Tourism promotion and development with the possibility of up to $4,000 additional for improving the aesthetics of the City by working with the Beautification Committee to make Boscobel attractive to Tourists. This money will be distributed each quarter according to funds available. The Chamber had requested $20,000.
• The city of Boscobel Flowers on Wisconsin Avenue and Sirius Radio had requested $880.“We will be asking the City Council to consider paying for these items out of the money kept out of Room Tax Funds for administration rather than asking for them out of the Room Tax monies eligible for qualified applicants,” Molzof said. “The Room Tax Committee also discussed the possibility of raising Room Tax Rates in 2020 in order to increase revenues, and we will be discussing this more in the near future.”