Tax Board Reduces Parade Funding

The town’s Accommodations Tax Committee met Oct. 2 to vote on funding for the upcoming Band Tournament to be held at Blythewood High School, the town’s Christmas Parade and to review the town’s tourism expenditures for fiscal year 2012.

The Blythewood Chamber of Commerce requested $7,500 funding for the town’s Christmas Parade, but Town Administrator John Perry said Mayor J. Michael Ross had suggested the Committee keep a closer eye on the parade funding this year.

“There seems to be a 1-on-1 correlation between the funds the town provides from the A-tax fund to put on the parade,” Perry said, “and the amount of the scholarships the Chamber awards from the parade proceeds each year.”

Proposed parade revenues for 2012 submitted to the Committee reflected a $7,500 donation from A-tax, and expenses to include $7,500 for the Chamber to give in scholarships.

Perry said the town wanted to help fund the parade but was not in the business of funding the scholarships. He suggested the Committee give $5,000, with 80 percent up front and the other 20 percent if expenses warranted.

The Band Boosters Club asked the Committee for $10,000 for the tournament, but A-tax Committee chairman Davis Garren questioned Perry about the tournament’s proposed revenue and expenses. Garren said it didn’t make sense that the organizers were expecting 6,000 to attend, but planned to sell 8,000 tickets. The paper proposal also reflected $10,000 total revenue from concessions with concession expenses of $13,000.

Perry laughed off the difference as bad math by the organizers. But Garren and Committee member Ken Shettles, who owns Chuggers bar on McNulty Road, told Perry they would agree to give 80 percent of the $10,000 this year, but in the future, would insist on seeing the historical data on the tournament’s actual expenses, what they actually brought in and the true end balance of the event.

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