MARIETTA - Jeri Knowlton, executive director of the Marietta and Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Marietta City Council finance committee Tuesday the city could keep the bureau's share of any hotel/motel tax revenue above what the CVB had already budgeted for September through December of this year.
The city splits the 6 percent bed tax 50/50 with the CVB, and appropriated $270,000 from the 2012 municipal budget for the bureau from this year's projected tax revenue. But by the end of September the tax had already generated $278,873, according to city auditor Sherri Hess.
Knowlton told finance committee chairman Councilman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, the CVB would grant the additional $8,873 back to the city for the municipal general fund.
She added the CVB had budgeted income of $37,000 for October, $32,000 for November, and $25,000 for December, and any bed tax revenues the bureau realizes above those amounts would also be granted back to the city general fund.
"That's very generous as we're facing major cutbacks in funding over the next couple of years, including the loss of the inheritance tax and other local government funding from the state," Vukovic said.
The other committee members agreed.
Knowlton said a memorandum of understanding would be drawn up so that the additional tax funds could be granted back to the city. She also said she would work closely with Hess as the CVB develops its 2013 budget.
"I also think we can do a better job of projecting what next year's bed tax revenue will look like so the city will have a better idea of how to plan ahead for it's budget," Knowlton said.
She said the CVB hopes this move will open a new door for cooperation between the bureau and the city.
Also on Tuesday, Vukovic announced $10,000 had been dedicated to support ReStore Marietta from the city's 2013 Community Development Block Grant, which is expected to total more than $336,000.
ReStore Marietta director Mallory Greenham thanked the committee for the funding and noted that by December ReStore expects Marietta will be designated as a full Ohio Main Street community.