$350,000 in lodging tax grants

Applications are now being accepted for a total of $350,000 in San Juan County Lodging Tax tourism grants.

The county’s Lodging Tax revenue increased by nearly 8 percent in 2011, compared with the previous year. That enabled the county to match the amount available for grants awarded last year while still adding to the fund’s cash reserves.

The Lodging Tax grant program is financed entirely by a room rental tax collected by the county’s lodging providers. By law, the tax proceeds are dedicated to promoting and enhancing tourism in San Juan County.

Traditionally the bulk of the facilities grant funds have been awarded to the county’s theaters, museums and parks, leaving a relatively small amount available for new projects. However, this year the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee formally announced its desire to earmark a percentage of the total available funds to finance innovative new events or projects. The committee’s funding recommendations will be presented to the county council for final consideration and approval early this summer.

The Lodging Tax grants to be awarded in 2012 are one-year grants for projects or events that take place during 2013. Only non-profit organizations and government agencies are eligible to apply.

Detailed information, award history and application forms are available on the county’s web site at: http://sanjuanco.com/LTAC.

Applications must be received by the close of business on Friday, April 6, 2012.