January 30, 2009
Dear Grant Applicant,
Thank you for taking an interest in Jefferson County tourism. With the addition of the 2% Jefferson County Hotel Occupancy Sales Tax in October 2001, the county is able to offer grants utilizing the monies collected. As these are hotel occupancy tax funds, they are limited to use for tourism and other activities set forth by the Office of the Attorney General.
To be eligible for these funds, you must fit the criteria of Tax Code 352.1033 which governs the use of revenue for counties bordering the Gulf of Mexico. It reads as follows: The revenue from a tax imposed under this chapter by a county that borders the Gulf of Mexico authorized to impose the tax by section 352.002(a)(6) may be used only to: (1) clean public beaches; (2) acquire, furnish, or maintain facilities, including parks, that enhance public beaches; (3)provide and maintain public restrooms on or adjacent to beaches and beach access facilities; (4) provide and maintain litter containers on or adjacent to beaches or beach access facilities;(5) create, renovate, promote and maintain parks adjacent to bays, rivers, and other navigable waterways if the county does not operate a public beach on the Gulf of Mexico; and (6) advertise and conduct solicitations and promotional programs to attract tourists and convention delegates or registrants to the county or its vicinity, any of which may be conducted by the county through contracts with persons or organizations selected by the county. (6)(b) A county that borders the Gulf of Mexico and that is authorized to impose the tax by Section 352.002(a)(6) may use 50% or less of the revenue from the tax for the promotion of tourism.
Because the hotel occupancy tax funds are generated county-wide, your organization is eligible only if the funds are being utilized to benefit Jefferson County. Emphasis will be placed on the marketing of your operations and/or events outside of a 50-mile radius that generate hotel bookings. Please ensure that your organization completes the correct application as one is for beach/park on a waterway funding, another is for specific advertising/promotional funding, and the third is for bid fees.
The grants will be awarded bi-annually. To be considered for the next grant period, the complete grant application needs to be received in the office of Kathi Weathington Hughes, Director of the Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center, at the address below, no later than 5:00pm on the first Friday in March and/or the first Friday in September. Please use the updated applications (revised Jan. 2009) that can be found on the Jefferson County website.
Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for the review process. The person filing the application for this grant may be asked to appear before the Jefferson County Tourism Committee to give a brief presentation on the funding request. Your organization will be notified if a presentation is requested. Please ensure that the grant period for which you are requesting funds allows the time needed for your organization to accomplish your goals. Grant applicants will be notified of the application/award results upon approval or rejection. If successful, follow-up reporting will be required of the grantee to assure that all funds were expended in conformity with grant requirements.
The County is excited to be able to offer this opportunity to the tourism community and its many partners. Please note that awards will be based upon tourism impact for the region and the amount of funds available in that grant period. Tourism is vital to the ongoing success of our area and we appreciate you taking interest in this program.
Applications are to be addressed to:
Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center
5055 IH-10 South
Beaumont, TX 77705
FOR USE OF JEFFERSON COUNTY
HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX FUNDS