County awards HOT funds to 14 local organizations

By Lisa Treiber-Walter —

Fourteen local organizations each got served a piece of the funding “pie” Monday, when Gillespie County Commissioners divvied up shares of $120,00 in Hotel Occupany Tax (HOT) funds.

This year’s distribution was a full third larger than the county’s previous $80,000 HOT fund appropriations, but still came up $46,200 short of the $166,200 requested.

“Some may not be real happy with this decision, but some look at it like this — it is kind of gravy anyway ... icing on the cake,” said Commissioner Donnie Schuch, who annually takes point on the HOT fund project for the commissioners.

The process of deciding who gets what amount is a painstaking one, since every application is examined carefully to make sure it complies with the law’s restrictions when it comes to ear-marking funds, with the promise that they will further promote “heads in beds” in the county’s rural, non-incorporated areas.

Schuch stressed to those organizations getting HOT fund shares the importance of following through with their post-event forms and with providing receipts necessary to prove compliance with the law.

For the last two quarters of 2012 and the first two quarters of 2013, the county collected a total of $323,765 in HOT funds — a 175% increase over its first year collections in 2007 of $172,607 from overnight accommodations outside Fredericksburg’s city limits and the ETJ (extra territorial jurisdiction.)

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