Anyone who stays at a hotel pays a room tax as part of their room fee. Money collected in the city of Richland stays in Richland, and Mayor Bob Thompson says that money is used to support tourism activities.
“The legislature has given us the opportunity to collect that tax– and frankly it’s from out of town people, for the most part– but to spin that back into the tourism industry,” says Thompson.
State law is very specific about what those funds can be used for, limiting their use to programs and events that can bring out-of-town visitors to the city.
The City of Richland is currently accepting applications for groups to receive those dollars. The applications will be reviewed by a committee which decides how to disburse the funds. Any money that isn’t used this year rolls into next year’s available funds.
The deadline to apply is September 30th. You can find the application form here.