Tourism board looks to change funding committees

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority is considering a number of changes to increase its efficiency in collecting and allocating the 4 percent room tax it’s tasked with administering, including a change to who gets to decide how the 1 percent funds are distributed amongst the five zip codes.

Currently, each zip code area has a 1 percent subcommittee that reviews funding request applications from its zip code and makes recommendations to the TDA board.

Not every county tourism agency uses the subcommittee setup like Haywood, but that’s how Haywood decided to do it back in 2007 when the 1 percent funding legislation passed in the North Carolina General Assembly — it gives each community where the room tax is collected a say in what events or projects get funded.

However, based on recommendations from Chris Cavanaugh with Magellan Strategies — a company the TDA hired to review its policies and practices — the TDA could simply the 1 percent funding process by doing away with all the subcommittees or by combining the five subcommittees into one subcommittee to review applications for all the zip codes.

The TDA board seemed more receptive to consolidating into one subcommittee and admitted that finding people to serve on the subcommittees was becoming more difficult. Also, there are no qualifications for subcommittee members other than living in the respective zip code.

The change would have to be done through a resolution by the Haywood County commissioners.

Read more about TDA recommendations in the Oct. 4 issue of The Smoky Mountain News.

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