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City awards HTAX grants

Posted: May 29, 2015 10:43 a.m.
Updated: June 1, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Camden City Council approved a recommendation from Hospitality Tax (HTAX) Committee for 15 of 20 HTAX funding requests totaling $100,000 during its May 26 meeting.

The HTAX is a 2 percent tax the city of Camden charges for food and beverages sold within the city. According to state law, the revenues from this tax are to be used solely for tourism related buildings, cultural recreational, or historic facilities, beach access and renourishment, highways, roads, streets and bridges providing access to tourist destinations, tourism related advertisements and promotions, or water and sewer infrastructure to serve tourism related demand.

City council formed a local seven-member HTAX advisory committee and, in 2015, expanded the Tourism Development Department to oversee HTAX allocations in the future with a staff committee. Members of this committee include City Finance Director Debra Courtney, Assistant to the City Manager Caitlin Corbett, Tourism Development Director Suzi Sale, Economic Development Director Wade Luther, City Grant Writer Amy Stenger and Archives and Museum Director Katherine Richardson.

According to the committee, the following organizations and events applied for HTAX funds:

• Fine Arts Center (FAC) of Kershaw County, requested $20,000 for its Blues Festival, received $10,000

• FAC, requested $20,000 for ongoing projects/programs, received $17,500

• Olde English Tourism, requested $5,000 for marketing program, received $3,000

• Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, requested $25,000 for ongoing projects, received $20,000

• Historic Camden Foundation, requested $18,000 for preservation of War Site/staff, received $12,300

• National Steeplechase Museum, requested $10,000 for website/kiosks, received $10,000

• Kershaw County Parks and Recreation, requested $30,000 for paving tennis courts, not funded

• S.C. Equine Promotion Foundation, requested $10,000 for Equine Park upgrades/marketing, received $10,000

• Wateree Outdoor Life, requested $5,000 for Wateree Outdoor Life Festival, received $3,200

• KMJ Enterprises, requested $11,000 for two tennis tournaments, received $5,000

• United Way of Kershaw County, requested $1,500 for chili cook off, received $1,500

• Camden Fire Department, requested $1,500 for Fire Fest, received $1,500

• Camden Police Officers Association, requested $2,000 for wrestling event, received $1,500

• Community Medical Clinic, $2,000 for 5K run, received $1,500

• Camden Country Club, requested $1,000 for three golf tournament events, request not funded

• Camden Military Academy, requested $5,000 for marketing outreach, request not funded

• Boykin Spaniel Society, requested $2,500 for annual spring event, received $2,500

• Kershaw County School District, requested $3,500 for basketball tournament, received $500.

The committee received total requests of $175,000; $100,000 in funds was available, according to a report from the HTAX committee. The committee discussed each qualifying submission, but ultimately expressed some concerns over several applications regarding a lack of documentation required as part of the application process. The committee suggested a special workshop to better educate potential applicants be held next year prior to next year’s funding period.

Council approved the committee’s funding recommendations unanimously.


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