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Bed tax committee and grants dissolved with fund changes

 


A new special revenue fund, instead of the general fund, will now house Transient Room Tax (TRT) revenue, meaning the TRT committee and grant process they once oversaw will be dissolved. Assembly members unanimously approved the change at Monday’s meeting.

The TRT, also known as the bed tax, is collected from the lodging industry and is used to fund visitor-related services in the borough. In the past, the majority of TRT monies have been allocated to the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, and remaining funds were doled out via grants.

The Chamber and Visitor Center will continue to receive funds for operations, maintenance and tourist-related activities, but previous funds available as small grants to local organizations and projects supporting the tourist industry will no longer be available. As grants have gone by the wayside, so will the TRT committee responsible for appropriating those funds. The changes were first approved by the TRT committee on March 24.

In a letter to the Assembly outlining the change, Finance Director Jody Tow said moving the TRT revenue from the General Fund to a special fund will create more transparency.

In other Assembly news, a $58,960 expenditure for the purchase of 20 portable radios to be used by police and fire department staff was unanimously authorized. The radios are part of a greater project to improve communications between public safety personnel, which also requires antennae improvements. The radios are expected to help fill gaps in the police, fire and EMS core coverage area.

The Assembly also approved a .04 property tax millage rate increase, bringing the total mill rate to 11.18 for those inside Service Area 1. The mill rate for outside Service Area 1 will remain at 4 mills. The Assembly approved the change 6-1, with member John Havrilek opposing.

 

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