Lodging Tax Brings Half-A-Million Dollars For Groups To Promote Events In Everett, Washington This Year
When someone stays in a hotel room or other accommodation in the city limits of Everett, Washington they have a charge of $2.00 a night added to their bill. This “lodging tax” is collected by the City and the money can only be used for promoting and supporting events.
Every year a Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) reviews applications from non-profit groups and public agencies for grants to help fund and promote their activities. The final authorization for the grants is approved by the Everett City Council.
From now until the end of this month the City of Everett’s LTAC committee is accepting applications for 2023.
The City has a full webpage devoted to the LTAC including FAQs and a direct link to the application. Here’s more on the program from Simone Tarver with the City.
This year, we have $545,000 to give out in grant funds and are really excited to see what kinds of unique and fun projects and events are submitted by our community.
A little bit more about LTAC:
- The grant program is made possible through taxes paid by consumers when they stay in paid lodging in the city of Everett and overseen by the LTAC (here’s the relevant RCW if you’re interested: RCW 67.28.1816: Lodging tax—Tourism promotion. ( wa.gov))
- The grant funds can go to non-profits and public organizations and can be used to reimburse expenses related to marketing and operation of their events/ programs.
- Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis, considering factors like project impact, cost effectiveness, marketing and innovation. Bonus points will be awarded to projects that promote tourism is the off-season and that attract overnight visitors.
- LTAC can only provide funding for projects that are completed by December 31, 2023.
- LTAC will meet in mid-February to review the applications we receive and recommend which projects should be funded in 2023. The City Council has the final say in who receives funding and what amount. I’ll be reaching out to all applicants in March to let them know if their projects were approved and if so, how much funding they will receive.
- We are accepting applications until 5 pm on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.
One example of a project that has received funding in the past is the Cruizin’ to Colby Car Show. Last year, the organizers were approved for $15,000. This event took place over Memorial Day weekend, May 28 to 30 and they estimate over 45,000 people attended over the course of three days. LTAC funding supported their advertising, event rentals, security and more.
The Everett Jets FC were awarded $5,000 which went toward their operational costs, like league fees and field rentals (Mariner High School is their home field), and marketing to encourage people to attend their soccer matches.
Another unique event that received funding is the International Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival. They received $7,300, which helped to pay for some of their marketing expenses. The festival took place at the Angel of the Winds Arena on Oct. 6-9 and they had over 1,100 attendees. The organizer of this event noted that since moving this event to Everett 3 years ago, they’ve seen an increase in first time attendees.
Again you can click here for more information and the application link.