What is Hospitality Tax (H-Tax)?
A 2% tax charged on the sales of prepared meals and beverages.
How can H-Tax revenues be spent?
In a county in which at least $900,000 of accommodations tax is collected annually, the revenues of the hospitality tax may be used for the operation and maintenance of tourism-related activities and services, including police, fire protection, emergency medical services, and emergency-preparedness operations directly attendant to those activities.
In order to support efforts of local non-profits to promote tourism and quality-of-life, City Council also may designate a portion of the revenue for competitive grant awards. Council will decide the amount of such portion annually prior to the application deadline.
City Council makes the final decision on allocation of funds, including any through the competitive grant process. A Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee makes a recommendation to City Council on grant funding.
How do I apply for an H-Tax grant?
The Hospitality Tax application form must be filled out completely. Supplemental information may be attached to the application.
Projects and events must take place between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.
Applications must be received by 5 pm on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
Email applications to: Budget & Accounting Director James Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is the H-Tax grant review process?
The Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee, a seven-person committee consisting of two City Council members and five City residents, will review the applications and make recommendations for funding to City Council. Applicants may be asked to answer questions and/or make a presentation before the Hospitality Tax Committee, City Council, and/or City staff. City Council votes on the final recommendations for funding.
Besides the application, what else is required to apply?
- Recently prepared (12-month, if available) financial statements for your organization, either in the form of audited statements, a compilation, or prepared summary); or, if a newly formed organization, any available financial information disclosing the organization’s current financial state.
- If applying for event/project funding, provide both prior year and proposed current-year budget.
What are the eligibility requirements?
All applicants for the competitive grant process should have an IRS not-for-profit status or be a governmental agency.
The organization must reside, or the event/project must take place within, the corporate limits of the City of Spartanburg.
The organization, event or project must “attract” and/or “provide for tourists.”
If funding is for an event, if possible, the date and venue should be secured.
All grantees will be required to submit an accountability document in order to be eligible for future funding consideration.
There are two categories for application for Hospitality Tax Grants: Event/Project or Organizational Support. Within the application, you will find general information required for all applicants, followed by separate sections to be completed depending on whether you are applying for an Event/Project (Section F) or Organizational Support (Section G.)
Non-profit organizations specifically geared toward tourism-related activities or events are eligible to apply if their request includes support for the following:
• conservation/use of natural resources
• tourism advocacy
- Applicants should consider if their organization or event align with the City's broad tourism goals, including:
• attracting tourism and hospitality dollars
• enhancing the City's cultural life
• attracting groups to the downtown core
- Hospitality funds may be requested for:
• fund-raising efforts
• operating support
• planning (long-range plans, marketing plants, implementation grants, grant application fees or costs, partnerships with other organizations)