Today’s front page includes a report from Camden City Council’s meeting Tuesday night during which it unanimously approved the recommendations of its accomodations tax (ATAX) and hospitality tax (HTAX) committees.
The committees look over what funds have been collected from those respective revenue streams, review requests made by tourism- and hospitality-focused organizations and events and recommend to council how much of those respective funds to disburse to the requestors.
Unfortunately, during most years (including this one), available ATAX and HTAX funds rarely match the amounts organizations request. In both cases, requests were approximately double the available funding. That’s why council approved the recommendations the committees made: $57,000 in ATAX disbursements versus $96,100 worth of requests, and $100,000 in HTAX disbursements versus $210,000 in requests. Few requests can be funded in full. Some can’t be funded at all.
That doesn’t mean council feels that organizations or events aren’t worthy of support. In fact, the city instituted its HTAX revenue stream precisely because it wants to support these things. As Councilman Jeffrey Graham put it Tuesday, the HTAX “has made a huge difference in our ability to invest in ourselves.”
We are sure those receiving this year’s disbursements are grateful for what the city is giving. On behalf of the public, we thank council for what it is able to do and thank the receiving organizations for making Camden more attractive and inviting to all.