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Tax committee recommends $309,900 for tourism projects

by KAYE THORNBRUGH, Hagadone News Network
| October 7, 2021 1:05 AM

MOSES LAKE — The Moses Lake Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) met Wednesday to discuss how the $309,900 hotel/motel tax money available for 2022 tourism projects should be distributed among entities.

The city awards hotel/motel tax money each year to entities working to promote Moses Lake tourism. Although the LTAC makes recommendations, the Moses Lake City Council will have the final say on which projects are funded.

Eleven entities requested approximately $435,000 in funds this year. The five-member committee recommended all entities receive at least some funding — using all of the $309,900 available — except for Visit Washington, which requested $3,650 for event tourism marketing, and Moses Lake Freedom Fest, which requested $50,000.

Last year, LTAC did not recommend funding Freedom Fest with hotel/motel tax money, either. However, the Moses Lake City Council voted in November 2020 to give $50,000 to the Independence Day celebration and might do so again. The committee suggested during Wednesday’s meeting the city council could use American Rescue Plan Act money to fund the event in 2022.

Moses Lake Spring Festival — the same entity that organizes Freedom Fest — was recommended $40,000 for the 2022 Memorial Day event.

Some applicants were recommended for less funding than they requested, including the Grant County Fairgrounds, which asked for $75,000 and received a recommendation for $40,000.

The committee’s funding recommendations were:

• City of Moses Lake - Tourism — $110,000

• Columbia Basin Allied Arts — $7,500

• Columbia Basin Cancer Foundation — $5,000

• Columbia Basin Community Concert Association — $7,500

• Downtown Moses Lake Association — $2,000

• Entco International — $57,900

• Grant County Fairgrounds — $40,000

• Moses Lake BMX — $5,000

• Moses Lake Spring Festival — $40,000

• Sand Scorpions ORV Group — $35,000.