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Tourism Tax Issues

Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center Tourism
Contract for Use of Tourism Room Tax

With Commentary!

My Commentary Contract for Provision of Services
This agreement is made and entered into as of June 9th, 1998, by and between the City of Warrensburg, Missouri (the "City"), and the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce (the "Chamber").
See Tourism Tax HomePage for election discussions. WHEREAS, the voters of the citizens of the city of Warrensburg have authorized the City to implement a 2.5% Lodging Tax; and,
This includes B&Bs WHEREAS, the Lodging Tax shall be levied on each sleeping room occupied and rented by transient guests of Hotels and Motels located in the City; and,
Nowhere is "promotion of tourism" defined! WHEREAS, the proceeds from the Lodging Tax must be expended for the promotion of tourism; and,
See belwo for accountability to go with the responsibility. WHEREAS, the City and the Chamber desire to enter into a mutual agreement in which the City shall be responsible for collecting the Lodging Tax and the Chamber shall be responsible for expending said funds in the promotion of tourism;
WHEREAS, this agreement is entered into to set forth the respective duties and obligations of each party,
NOW THEREFOR, in consideration of the mutual promises of the parties, the parties agree as follows:
1. The initial term of this contract shall begin on July 1, 1998 and end on September 30, 1998. This contract shall be automatically renewed for additional one year periods unless notice of cancellation has been given by either party.
This para. sets up the 'fund' 2. The City agrees to collect the 2.5% Lodging Tax on the gross daily rent due and paid by transient guests of hotels and motels located in the City. The City shall deposit the funds received from this tax in a fund created and known as the convention and tourism fund.
Note that the Chamber
    (a) is responsible for espending the money
    (b) Required only to use 'good jusgment' in spending the money
    (c) Appoints 2 of the 5 people who oversee its actions
    (d) Is supposed to use the money only to promote tourism for the City of Warrensburg. The question arises, then, if they can promote anything outside the City Limits?
3. The Chamber agrees at all times during the contract term to
    (a) be responsible for the expenditure of the funds in the City's convention and tourism fund, subject to the review of the city council,

    (b) use good and professional judgment in the expenditure of such funds,

    (c) annually appoint two of the total of five members of the convention and tourism advisory board, with at least one Chamber appointee being from the hotel and motel industry, and

    (d) utilize the funds from the convention and tourism fund only for the purpose of the promotion of tourism for the City of Warrensburg.

This paragraph gives the city council absolute authority to audit the Chamber's actions. They've really received no formal reports and only reports as part of the City Manager's Week in Review. I see this as an abdication of responsibility on the part of the city council and the city manager. 4. The parties mutually acknowledge and agree that the City shall retain 1% of the total tax collected per year to cover the costs of the collection and administration of the convention and tourism fund. The parties further acknowledge that the City shall initially retain an amount equal to the set up expenses and costs required to set up and begin the administration of the Lodging Tax. The Chamber agrees by execution of this document that the city council shall have complete power and discretion to review the Chamber's actions and change or modify any such action as the cot council deems appropriate in the circumstances. The Chamber further acknowledges that the conventions and tourism advisory board shall have a total membership of five members and that the city council shall have the complete and absolute authority to remove any member , with or without cause, at any time the city council deems appropriate un the circumstances.
5. The Chamber agrees to save and hold harmless the City from any and all liability or damages, including legal fees and court costs, which may arise out of the Chamber's performance of the contract.
6. In the event the City is made aware of any default under this contract which the Chamber fails to correct within thirty days from date of notification, the City may cancel and terminate this contract.
7. Either party may cancel and terminate this contract by giving the other party thirty days' written notice.
In witness whereof, the undersigned have placed their signatures as representatives of the parties hereto as of the day and year first above written.
Signed by City Manager Jim Landon And Chamber President Ron Townsend.
Attested by City Clerk Nancy Anderson and Chamber Executive Director Tammy Long.

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