Unused 2020 lodging tax funds used to fully fund 2021 Aberdeen events

The Aberdeen Lodging Tax Advisory Committee used funds left over from events not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic to fully fund all 13 funding requests submitted for 2021.

Lodging tax funds are collected from hotel and motel taxes and are used to fund events and tourism-related expenditures. Entities interested in the funds apply to the city, and the advisory committee reviews those requests and makes its recommendations for approval by the City Council.

“We typically budget $65,00 for the (lodging tax) funds, but in 2020 a number of organizations were unable to use the funds they were awarded because of COVID and they didn’t hold their events,” said committee chairwoman Deborah Ross. “So there was extra money, about $34,600 that was unused.”

Since lodging tax funds can’t be automatically rolled over to the next year if an applicant doesn’t use them in the year for which they are awarded, “our committee agreed and approved adding that to this year’s $65,000 to fund all requests.”

The total requested in 2021 was $97,400. Ross told the City Council Tuesday, “I am hoping we pass this, we got some requests that are one-time requests or new and I think they all are really, really good asks.” The council agreed and unanimously passed the funding request.

Recipients include: Aberdeen Summerfest, $3,000; Aberdeen Sunday Market, $15,000; Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, $10,000; Art Drives, $7,500; Aberdeen Beautification flower baskets, $9,000; City of Aberdeen RV park design, $25,000; Our Aberdeen, $6,900; Midnight Cruizers car club, $3,500; Founders Day celebration, $6,000; Aberdeen Art Walk, $6,000; Aberdeen Shakespearean Theatre, $1,000; Test of Time car club show, $1,000; and Winterfest, $3,500.