The Ellensburg City Council approved an agreement Monday that would unify the city’s and county’s lodging tax application processes and grant money pool.
The effort also would involve Cle Elum and Roslyn, should they agree to join.
Consolidating the process would, the theory goes, simplify the application process and coordinate grants, and therefore do more to promote tourism activities countywide.
The tax money comes from hotel room bookings, which goes into a pot to fund tourist-drawing events. The agreement would consolidate the application process and bring representatives from each participating granting body together to divvy grant money from a combined pot of lodging tax funds.
Each city would receive at least the amount of grant money that it contributed in lodging tax revenue.
This year, the county expects to grant $200,000 to community groups and events. The city of Ellensburg will distribute about $30,000 to groups in its next round.
The Council looked at two versions of the agreement, one with a limit on grants to recurring events, and another without. The Council passed the one with the limit.
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