Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

May 10, 2013

Hotel, motel tax collections increasing

By Michael Schaffer Managing Editor
The Daily Iowegian

---- — Joyce Bieber, executive director Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Monday night delivered the annual Appanoose County Tourism Committee report to the Centerville City Council.

Bieber said tourism revenue has increased in Appanoose County. Both city and county hotel, motel tax receipts have shown steady increases since 2010.

City tax receipts went from $61,827.26 in 2010 to $76,412.91 in 2012. County tax receipts went from $38,780.89 in 2010 to $42,454.20 in 2012.

Bieber said the hotel, motel tax used by the Appanoose County Tourism Committee has been in place since 2004.

"And I would like to say we've been able to do a lot of things we wouldn't have been able to do since that time without the hotel, motel tax," Bieber said. "So, there's just a lot of things that we do with that money and we appreciate to have the opportunity to administer that money."

From January through December 2012, the Appanoose County Tourism Committee took in $76,412.91 in city hotel, motel tax income, $42,454.20 in county hotel, motel tax income and $5,415 in event income. The committee had $123,227.81 in total expenses, leaving $1,054.30 in net income.

Bieber said the Chamber used some of the hotel, motel tax money to create their new website. The Appanoose County Tourism Committee budget for January through December 2012 shows $6,651.55 was spent on the website.

The Appanoose County Tourism Committee consists of nine individuals. Three appointed by the Chamber: Mark Lechtenberg, Russ Ocker and Lynette Cisler; three appointed by the city: Paula Mitchell, Dale Sales and Rob Lind; and three appointed by the county: Rick Kauzlarich, Jody McDanel and Brian Lindberg.

The Appanoose County Tourism Committee is responsible for overseeing the distribution of money collected through the hotel, motel tax in Centerville and unincorporated areas of the county under the direction of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The Appanoose County Tourism Committee operates as a committee of the Chamber of Commerce.

In 2012, the Appanoose County Tourism Committee provided $12,500 in grants: $5,000 to Honey Creek Resort for a basketball court; $5,000 to Appanoose County baseball; $1,500 to the Garden Club; and $1,000 to the Fire Department for their car show.

In addition, the Appanoose County Tourism Committee provided funding for the municipal band concerts, the Centerville trolley, Appanoose County All-Play, Wine Fest, Run on Rathbun, Blue Grass festival at Honey Creek and city cleanup in April.

The Appanoose County Tourism Committee participates in or sponsors Rathbun Lake Association, Crappie Masters fishing tournament, Friday Night Live, Summer Bash, Children's Arts Festival, WHO Tractor Ride and holiday light display, just to mention a few.