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Tourism Tax Issues

City of Warrensburg Tourism Tax Ordinance
Adopted June 1998
With Commentary!

Page updated 9/20/2001

This is the City of Warrensburg Ordinance setting up the Tourism Tax; certain portions not pertinent to the Chamber have been omitted.

For 2000-01 the only report submitted was the Annual Report. For more detailed analysis of financial statements, see 1999-2000 analysis and 2000-01 YTD
Text of Ordinance My Commentary



Section 1. Definitions.

Hotel and motel shall mean any structure, or building which contains rooms furnished for the accommodation of lodging guests, with or without meals being provided, and kept, used, maintained, advertised or held out to the public as a place where sleeping accommodations are sought for pay or compensation to transient guests.

Transient guests means any person who occupies a room in a hotel or motel for thirty-one days or less.

Theoretically, this includes a circumstance where someone would rent out a room on a weekly basis. The regular establishments included are:
    Holiday Inn Express
    University Inn
    Days Inn
    Super 8
    Belmont Motel
    Camel Crossing B&B
    Old Drum Inn B&B
    Good House B&B
Section 2. Levy of tax.

There is hereby levied a tax of 2.5% of the gross daily rent due from and paid by transient guests of all sleeping rooms occupied and rented by transient guests of hotels or motels located in the City. This charge is in addition to the charge for the sleeping room and shall be in addition to any and all taxes imposed by law. Said proceeds shall be used for funding by a not for profit organization for the purpose of promoting tourism.

This brings the total tax on rooms within the city limits to 9.775%.
Section 3. Payment of tax.

Each operator of hotel or motel shall on or before the twentieth(20th) say of the month following the close of each month make a return to the City of Warrensburg on forms provided of total rents charged and the amount of tax collected for transient occupancy. At the time the return is filed, the full amount of the tax collected shall be remitted. The city council hereby establishes a convention and tourism fund. All taxes collected under this section shall be deposited to the credit of this fund.

Section 4. Penalties for nonpayment.

Section 5. Reports

Section 6. Convention and tourism advisory board.

(a) Board established. Expenditures from the convention and tourism fund shall be made at the discretion of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, subject to the review of the city council. To assist in exercising this discretion a convention and tourism board is hereby established.

There is no prior review required for any Chamber tourism tax spending.
(b) Membership. The convention and tourism advisory board shall consist of 5 members, with 3 members being appointed by the Mayor with the consent of city council, and two members being appointed by the Chamber of Commerce, with at least one member from each appointing body being from the hotel or motel industry within Warrensburg. In the event that no person from the Warrensburg hotel or motel industry will accept a position on the board then the requirement for two appointees to be from the hotel or motel industry shall be declared void for that given year. In addition, the city manager shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member. The city manager may designate other city staff to serve in his place as ex officio member. You'll notice that the membership is stacked so the lodging industry, which generates the funds, can always be outvoted and lodging industry involvement can even be eliminated. Originally, one of the lodging industry representatives is the developer rather than the lodging pro; now that person is the only lodging member on the Board, and not all lodging establishments were contacted in an effort to find another.
(c)Term of office. The initial members of the board shall serve as follows: three of the initial members of the board shall serve for a two year term and two of the initial members of the board shall serve for a one year term. Thereafter, the appointed members of the board shall serve two-year terms. The initial terms shall commence on July 1, 1998. Prior to the expiration of each member's term of office, the city council and Chamber of Commerce shall appoint, as applicable, their successor to a two-year term. Except in the case of a resignation or removal, members shall hold office until their successors are appointed.

(d) Dismissals. The city council may remove any member of the convention and tourism advisory board for misconduct or neglect of duty.

(e) Vacancies. Any vacancy in a membership shall be filled for the unexpired term by city council appointment for a city appointee and by the Chamber appointment for a Chamber appointee.

(f) Compensation. No member of the board shall receive compensation for his service.

(g) Officers and committees. The original members of the convention and tourism advisory board shall meet within thirty (30) days of their appointment and organize themselves by the election of one of their number as chairman, another as vice-chairman and another as secretary/treasurer, and by the election of such other officers as they may deem necessary. Thereafter, new elections among the members of the advisory board shall occur annually during the month of July. The chairman, vice-chairman and secretary/treasurer of the a advisory board shall function as an executive committee, and the members of the advisory board may create such other committees as they deem necessary. Minutes verifying that these actions were properly taken are not on file at City Hall.
(h) Bylaws, rules and regulations. The advisory board shall make and adopt such bylaws, rules and regulations for their own guidance and for the administration of the board as they may deem appropriate, but not inconsistent with the ordinances of the City of Warrensburg or the statutes of the State of Missouri. These documents are not on file at Warrensburg City Hall
(i) Budget. The convention and tourism advisory board shall submit a proposed line item budget for the convention and tourism fund to the city council no later than September 15th of each year. The advisory board may submit along with the budget written recommendations including methods of promoting tourism and conventions such as employment if personnel and procurement of services through contractual relations. The city manager shall forward these recommendations along with his comments and recommendation to the city council and the Chamber of Commerce. The original budget was not submitted on time. It is a basic 'major line item' budget without any program detail or basis for estimates. No recommendations are provided. See Budget Analysisand Budget Analysis for 2000-01
(j) Annual report. The advisory board shall be required to submit an annual report of its activities to the city council by September 15th of each year. This report was not submitted on time, nor did it contain substantive detail. If you'd like to see it, with my commentary, check out 1999 Annual Report
Section 7. This tax shall be collected beginning the first day of July, 1998.

Passed by the City Council on June 8, 1998. Signed by Mayor Jim Jackson

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