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CCC approves ATAX requests

Posted: May 17, 2015 10:41 a.m.
Updated: May 18, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Camden City Council approved some $52,000 in Accommodations Tax (ATAX) requests during its May 12 meeting.

The ATAX is a 2 percent tax the state imposes on all accommodations, including campgrounds, the revenues from which go to promote tourism at the local level. The state allocates the funds to local governments such as the city of Camden based on the point of revenue origin.

According to the city of Camden’s Accommodations Tax Handbook, which can be found on the city’s website, the funds are distributed as follows:

The city can spend the first $25,000 in ATAX revenues it receives from the state on any general revenue expenses. Of the remaining funds, the city can spend an additional 5 percent on general fund expenses. After that, 30 percent goes to the designated entity that handles advertising and promotion for the city, in this case the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce/Tourism.

The remaining 65 percent is to be used for tourism-related expenditures and the distribution of these funds requires an application process, according to the handbook.

The city’s process requires the applicant to submit a request to the city, which is reviewed by a committee. The ATAX committee includes Jack Brantley, Kristin Cobb, Hope Cooper, Paul Hrabovsky, Vip Patel, and Gladys Wood.

According to the handbook, funding must be used for tourism-related projects and events in and near the city of Camden and cannot be given as start-up funds; and events must attract regional, state, and/or national audiences. The committee will not consider funding projects or activities which do not address regional tourist audiences; do not promote tourism; only solicit funds for donation to non-tourism activities; or certain activities within projects such as potage, shipping costs, utility costs, sanitation services, medical services, travel costs, or other such services or activities as deemed ineligible by the S.C. Tourism Oversight Review Committee.

The committee met April 30 to review and make recommendations on 19 applications. All committee members except Brantley were present. City Finance Director Debra Courtney and City Tourism Development Director Suzi Sale were also present.

Of the 19 applications, which totaled $109,240 in requests, the committee recommended funding for 18 totaling $52,000.

The following applications were considered and funded:

• Colonial Cup Promotions -- requested $10,000, received $6,000.

• Historic Camden Revolutionary War Field Days -- requested $1,800, received $1,000.

• National Steeplechase Museum event promotions -- requested $9,000, received $5,000.

• Carolina Down Home Blues -- requested $12,500, received $12,500.

• SC Equine Promotions Foundations, Equine Park -- requested $5,000, received $5,000.

• Fine Arts Center (FAC) of Kershaw County Spring Music and Arts Festival -- requested $2,800, received $2,000. This event will replace the FAC Jazz Festival.

• Junior Welfare League Candlelight Tour of Homes -- requested $5,300, received $2,500.

• Olde English District -- requested $10,000, received $2,500.

• Wateree Outdoor Life Festival -- requested $5,200, received $2,000.

• Camden Country Club Carolina Four ball Championship Golf Tournament -- requested $2,600, received $500.

• Camden Country Club 2nd Annual Collegiate Invitational Golf Tournament -- requested $5,000, received $500.

• Camden Country Club Creed Junior Invitational Golf Tournament -- requested $5,000, received $500.

• Camden Country Club Classically Carolina Tennis Tournament -- requested $11,000, received $3,000.

• Louise Proctor Hall haunted Legends of Camden Tour -- requested $6,500, received $2,500.

• Camden Community Medical Clinic Oysters & BBQ -- requested $2,500, received $1,000.

• Camden Military Academy Marketing Outreach -- requested $3,985, received $1,000.

• Boykin Spaniel Society Spring National -- requested $2,500, received $2,500.

• Historic Camden Foundation Jammin’ In July -- requested $1,000, received $500.

• United Way of Kershaw County Springdale 5K at Sunrise -- requested $4,665, received $1,500.

The committee declined to fund a Kershaw County Historical Society request for $6,000. The committee felt that the reprinting and sale of the book, “Historic Camden: Colonial and Revolutionary,” did not meet the qualifications for funding under ATAX.

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