The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee typically meets between April and August to discuss any changes in state law, interview applicants, and develop recommendations for City Council. Other meetings are scheduled as needed.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Title 67.28.1817 “Lodging Tax Advisory Committee in large municipalities” requires that “the committee membership shall include: (a) at least two members who are representatives of businesses required to collect the tax under this chapter; and (b) at least two members who are persons involved in activities authorized to be funded by revenue received under this chapter; …and “one member shall be an elected official of the municipality who shall serve as chair of the committee”.
More information is provided in Bremerton Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 2.38 “Lodging Tax Advisory Committee”. The Council President appoints a Council Member as Chair to this committee on an annual basis and members of the committee may serve up to three 3-year terms.
Pat Sullivan, City Council Member & Committee Chair
Deborah Housen, Evergreen Children’s Theatre & Puppet Museum
George Willock, Kitsap Historical Society & Museum Desirae Portillo, Baymont Inn & Suites Ramesh Rabadia, Motel 6
Hotels collect a lodging tax when people stay overnight at a hotel, motel, long-term stay facility, bed and breakfast, or other similar type of overnight lodging. Proceeds are then provided to cities and those funds can only be used by non-profit organizations and government entities for the following:
Marketing and operations of special events and festivals (also called “tourism promotion”)
Operations (but not capital expenditures) of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by non-profits
Operations and capital expenditures of tourism related facilities owned or operated by a municipality or public facility district
The committee’s role is to review the requests for funding from the lodging tax and make recommendations on funding to the Mayor and City Council. City Council may accept the recommendations as presented, modify the recommendations by removing a recipient(s) from the list, or remand the recommendations back to the committee for further deliberation. Following formal action by the City Council, the proposed allocations are then included in the City’s Budget for final adoption in December. After the budget is adopted, organizations enter into contracts with the City of Bremerton to provide tourism-related services for the next fiscal year.