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City News

Posted on: March 8, 2018

City of Buda Accepting Hotel Occupancy Tax Grant Applications

IMG_1073

2018-2019 Funding Application Schedule


Application Available: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Application Due Date: Friday, June 1, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.
Application Committee Review: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
City Council Final Funding Award: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

Application rules and guidelines


The City of Buda accepts applications from organizations whose events/expenditures fit into one or more of the hotel occupancy tax expenditure categories. The Hotel Occupancy Tax Reimbursement Grant is reimbursement only. Funding is selective and is based on the application your organization submits. 

1. The application must be completed in its entirety in ordered for the event/expenditure to be considered for funding. If any portion of the application is not applicable to your request, you must submit in writing with the application why that portion does not apply to your request or your application will not be considered. If it is determined that the portion is required for your request, you will be given one week to turn in the incomplete portion of the application. (Application begins on page 5.)

2. The applicant must present reasonable evidence that the event/expenditure will increase overnight stays in Buda and that the increase is consistent with the level of funding requested. 

3. Expenditures of hotel occupancy tax must directly enhance and promote tourism and the hotel industry in the City of Buda and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. All events/expenditures must pass the two-part test in order to be eligible for funding. If an event/expenditure is not reasonably likely to accomplish this result, it will not be funded by City of Buda hotel occupancy tax reimbursement grant. (See page 4 for two-part test and hotel occupancy tax expenditure eligibility information.)

4. It is required that all Buda hotels and bed & breakfasts are listed on all information provided to registrants, vendors/event attendees, including the event website. Information must include the lodging facilities current phone number, email and/or websites. Any event organizers awarded funds must provide proof in with their post-event report that hotels were listed on the items listed above in order to receive reimbursement funds for their event. (List of hotels provided on page 10.)

5. All Buda hoteliers and the Buda Visitor Center/Tourism Department must be made aware of the event and event details in writing 60 days prior to the event. Copies of these notices must be provided with the post-event report. 

6. The event organizers MUST keep track of overnight stays that are booked in Buda hotels and/or bed and breakfasts as a direct result of their event. Hoteliers may help keep track of overnight stays at the request of the event organizers. All requests for tracking must be made by the event organizers to each individual hotel and bed and breakfast. It is required for all overnight stays to be listed on your post-event report. If event organizers do not keep track of overnights stays from the event, they will not receive reimbursement funds.

7. The City of Buda Tourism Department website (www.visitbudatx.com) must be listed on event websites or other materials provided to registrants, vendor/event attendees. 

8. Applicants applying for HOT funds for advertising and promotion must focus the requested funding on targeting overnight guests. Only advertising that is outside of a 100-mile radius of the Buda city limits will be reimbursed through this grant.

9. The funds through this grant do not cover promotional items (i.e. t-shirts, hats, koozies, etc.) that the event organizers sell prior, during or after their event. The grant does reimburse promotional items that are purchased and given away for free as an advertising strategy in order to promote the event.

10. The City of Buda shall be recognized as an event sponsor and receives benefits at the sponsorship level consistent with the grant amount awarded.

11. Applicant acknowledges that if grant funds are awarded, the event organizers agree to allow the financials of this event to be viewed at any time by the City of Buda prior to receiving reimbursement for the event. 


Application Submission Deadlines


Application packets, along with any required supporting documents must be fully completed and
submitted to the Department of Tourism Office, Stagecoach House & Visitors Center, 880 Main
Street, Buda, TX 78610 by the close of business (4:00 p.m.) on Friday, June 1, 2018. Applications may not be faxed; however they may be submitted via email to lgonzalez@ci.buda.tx.us. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Application Review Process


All applications will be reviewed the Director of Tourism of the City of Buda for completeness and to ensure that expenditures will directly promote City of Buda tourism and its lodging industry. The applicant may be contacted when their application is reviewed to answer any additional questions regarding the application. 

All applications submitted by the deadline with eligible, reimbursable expenses will be reviewed by a committee to evaluate the information submitted. This committee will make recommendations for funding for each application to the Buda City Council. Applicants are asked to be available to the committee when their application is reviewed to answer any questions or to give additional information regarding their application. The application review date is set for Tuesday, July 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Buda City Hall.  

All applications reviewed by the committee will also be reviewed by City Council. The applicant may be requested to give a presentation the City Council during the budget process. This allows the organization to discuss the event and the activities that will occur and state how the organization will use the funding to promote the City of Buda and directly enhance the lodging (hotel/motels) in the community by having visitors stay overnight in Buda hotels. The final funding award date is set for the Tuesday, July 17, 2018 City Council meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Buda City Hall. 

Please note that the application schedule is subject to change. Any changes to the schedule will be sent by email to all applicants.

The City of Buda Department of Tourism will send notifications letters to applicants informing them of the decision for funding by the Buda City Council once the FY2018-2019 budget is complete and adopted. The decision of the Buda City Council, both as to the funding amount or denial of funding will be final. (Failure to receive funding in one budget year does not prevent a re-submission in the next budget year.) Applicants receiving funding are in effect entering into an agreement with the City of Buda and are required to execute all subsequent documentation as described in the application. Please note that the City of Buda works by fiscal year, not calendar year. Our FY 2018-2019 begins October 1, 2018 and ends September 30, 2019. The budget for the next fiscal year will have to be adopted and approved before any money can be reimbursed.

Post Event Report, Invoices and Proofs of Payment


It is the responsibility of the event organization/representative to report the number of out-of-town guests (meaning outside of the Austin Metropolitan Area) and number of room nights stayed in Buda’s lodging properties. (Please note that room nights generated in surrounding areas (outside of the Buda City limits) do not fulfill the requirements of the state law and will not be credited to your event.) These materials must be submitted no later than sixty (60) days following the event/expenditure and should be submitted to the Department of Tourism. This grant is a reimbursement grant. In order to receive funds, you must submit the following:
 A completed post-event report that should mirror the budget presented in the original application (Report located on page 9.)
 A count of room nights stayed in Buda hotels with proof of how that number was found
 Proof of payment, which includes: a statement showing a zero balance, receipts, copy of cancelled checks, etc.
 Verbal follow up report given during regular scheduled City Council meeting


Hotel Occupancy Tax 101


The Texas Tax Code provides a set of rules that state how the revenue from the HOT may be
used. According to the Texas Tax Code, the use of HOT revenue is limited to expenditures that
meet the following

two-part test:


First, every hotel occupancy tax revenue expenditure must directly enhance and
promote tourism and the hotel and convention industry. See Tex. Tax Code §
351.101(b). In other words, the expenditure must be likely to attract visitors from outside
Buda into the city or its vicinity. If the expenditure is not reasonably likely to accomplish
this result, it is not eligible for funding by HOT revenues.
Second, each hotel occupancy tax revenue expenditure must fit into one of nine
categories shown below:

Expenditure Categories.

See Texas Tax Code §§ 351.101(a) and 351.110.

1. Funding the establishment, improvement, or maintenance of a convention center or
visitor information center
2. Paying the administrative costs for facilitating convention registration
3. Paying for advertising. Solicitations, and promotions that attract tourists and convention
delegates to the county or its vicinity
4. Expenditures that promote the arts. Please note that it is not enough that a facility or
event promotes the arts; state law requires that the expenditure also must be likely to
directly promote tourism and the hotel and convention industry.
5. Funding historical restoration or preservation programs
6. Certain sporting event related expenses
7. Certain sporting related structures
8. Certain tourist shuttles
9. Signage directing tourists to attractions frequently visited by hotel guests.


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