In a continuing effort by Bourbon County and the City of Fort Scott leadership to combine services, the city’s tourism department will come under the Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc.
Jackson Tough, the City of Fort Scott’s Tourism Director moved his office into the Bourbon County REDI office at Landmark Bank today.
“The city commission voted, this month, to move their tourism (department) over to Bourbon County Regional Economic Development Inc.,” Rob Harrington, REDI director said. “Jackson Tough will remain a city employee.”
Funding Is From Bed Tax
The city’s tourism department is funded through a Transient Guest Tax, Harrington said. “Any money left from the transient guest tax, after the administrative stuff, payroll, FICA, and any incumbrances…will come to REDI for marketing.”
The transient guest tax, commonly known as the “bed tax,” is imposed by a city or county on transient guests of hotels, motels, and tourist courts, according to 2006-022 | 9/1/2006 | Kansas Attorney General Opinion (washburnlaw.edu) The purpose of the tax is to provide revenue “to promote tourism and conventions.”
“Convention and tourism promotion,” is defined as follows, according to the website:
“‘Convention and tourism promotion’ means: (1) Activities to attract visitors into the community through marketing efforts, including advertising, directed to at least one of the five basic convention and tourism market segments consisting of group tours, pleasure travelers, association meetings and conventions, trade shows and corporate meetings and travel; and (2) support of those activities and organizations which encourage increased lodging facility occupancy.”
The guest tax has been in force in Fort Scott since Jan. 1, 2014 and is 6 percent, according to Transient Guest Tax Rates and Filers (ksrevenue.gov)
REDI To Provide Oversight
“I’ll oversee the funds to see they are being used appropriately, for what they are supposed to be,” Harrington said.
“Tourism will be under REDI jurisdiction, we’ll be responsible for tourism marketing,” he said. ”
The city and county officials have been working together in economic development, finance management, and human resource services, in recent years, to share resources. Tourism will now be a shared service.