by Trish Rudder
The deadline for community groups to request hotel/motel tax funds from the Town of Bath is February 28. Groups submit an application to seek the funds, which come from a local hotel tax. The request is for fiscal year 2019-20, which begins July 1.
The hotel/motel occupancy tax helps fund organizations that promote tourism, beautification, historical or cultural efforts in the town.
The town voted to increase the tax rate from four percent to six percent in January 2018, and the additional two percent increase has provided about $4,000 extra in taxes for the first six months of 2018, said town finance chair Andy Swaim.
As dictated by law, 50 percent of the lodging tax collected goes to the local tourist bureau, Travel Berkeley Springs, for tourism promotion. The other half is distributed to the local groups that are approved by the town finance committee.
The fund request forms can be downloaded from the town website (townofbath.org) or can be picked up at the town hall at 271 Wilkes Street.
Each year, the finance committee reviews the funding request applications to determine how the organization/project will benefit tourism in the Town of Bath.
Swaim said there are about 12 groups receiving funds this fiscal year. He said the town encourages organizations to apply that would qualify them to receive the hotel/motel occupancy tax funding that benefits tourism.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the Town of Bath disbursed $25,220 in lodging tax to groups doing work inside the town limits. Tourism officials said that number is up for the current fiscal year.