Accommodations Tax Grants are provided to eligible projects through revenue received by the City for its share of the 2% lodging tax levied by the State of South Carolina. These monies can only be used for activities related to tourism, including:
1. Advertising and promotion of events that will increase tourism.
a. Expenditures that would qualify under this category would include monies spent on advertising in an attempt to promote the City of Spartanburg to tourists*.
2. Promotion of the arts and cultural events
a. Expenditures that would qualify under this category would include money used for advertising or promotion of a particular festival in the City of Spartanburg or
b. Money used for advertising and promoting arts and cultural events held in the in the City of Spartanburg in an effort to attract tourists
3. Support for facilities where civic and cultural events take place
a. Eligible expenditures under this category can include the costs incurred in building a civic center, museum, or a coliseum.
b. Money can also be used to fund the continued operation of such facilities including the cost of repairs and necessary additions to such facilities.
4. Other eligible uses for Accommodations Tax funds include additional health, safety and public services for tourists; transportation shuttles; visitor information centers; and waterfront erosion control and repair.
*A tourist is defined as those who travel at least 50 miles to attend an event
*City Accommodations Tax Grants are awarded to eligible projects that physically take place within the corporate limits of the City of Spartanburg.
*The event must “attract” and/or “provide for tourists.”
*All applicants must have an IRS Not For Profit Status or be a governmental agency.
*In order to apply for funds, a firm date must be set for the event (a date cannot be tentative) and a firm venue secured. Written confirmation of the secured venue should be provided along with the application.
An Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee, mandated by the State, reviews applications and makes recommendations to City Council for the award of these funds. (Applicants do not have to meet with the committee.) This committee is composed of representatives of the hospitality industry.