Parade, Tourney Get A-Tax Funds

BLYTHEWOOD (Nov. 17, 2016) – The Accommodation Tax (A-Tax) Committee convened on Nov. 9 with only four members present – three of them newly appointed to the Committee – but enough for a quorum to hear two applicants seeking funds for the 2016 Blythewood Christmas Parade and the 2017 South Carolina Diamond Invitational baseball tournament.

Paul Richter addressed the Committee on behalf of two groups that will be organizing the parade this year – the Knights of Columbus Council 13713 and the Transfiguration Church. Richter, a member of both groups, made the pitch for the parade, asking for $6,496, which he said should cover 80 percent of the parade’s expenses this year. The other 20 percent ($1,624), Richter said, is expected to come from entry fees, which are $25 per entry. Schools and elected officials are exempt from entry fees.

Richter said the parade committee will come primarily from within the two organizations and that the parade will be returning to an all-volunteer cast of workers this year. Last year it was organized by the Blythewood Chamber of Commerce.

There will be three levels of parade sponsorships – gold ($250), silver ($175) and bronze ($100). Richter explained that $3,000 of the A-Tax award from the Town had been budgeted for the purchase of sponsor gifts consisting of plaques, coasters and note cards from the State Museum.

“The beneficiary of the sponsor proceeds will be the Christian Assistance Bridge (CAB),” Richter said. “They will receive all of the proceeds beyond the parade expenses.”

Richter said he did not know how many sponsors to expect because the Chamber did not maintain a list of how many parade sponsors there were last year.

The Committee unanimously approved the full $6,496 award.

Rick Lucas, representing the 2017 South Carolina Diamond Invitational, requested a $20,000 A-Tax award, which he said would amount to 51 percent of the event’s revenue. Another $19,600 in revenue will come from entry fees, concessions, merchandise, admission and program advertisements for a total revenue of $39,600.

Lucas said the tournament expects to spend $31,300 for lodging and meals for the teams, advertisement, promotion and other tournament expenses, leaving a net income of $8,300.

Lucas said that the tournament exposes players to collegiate and professional scouts and is primarily a fundraising event for the Blythewood High School baseball program. Lucas said that 80 percent of the $20,000 requested will be directed back into local businesses.

The Committee approved the full $20,000 award for the Invitational.