Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC)
What is the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee?
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) primarily makes recommendations to the City Council on the appropriation of the lodging tax revenues consistent with state law and Pasco Municipal Code 3.161.
Applications for lodging tax funds must be submitted to and approved by the LTAC. The LTAC is authorized to implement rules and materials for purposes of application, screening, and submission for lodging tax revenues for the uses of said funds.
LTAC membership consists of five members appointed by City Council. Membership shall include:
- (1) Elected Official (Chair)
- (2) Representatives of Businesses Collecting Tax
- (2) Representatives Involved in Activities Authorized to be Funded by Tax
- City Council: Mayor Blanche Barajas
- Hotel Representative: Monica Hammerberg (Hampton Inn)
- Hotel Representative: Taran Patel (A-1 Hospitality)
- User Representative: Colin Hastings (Pasco Chamber of Commerce)
- User Representative: Hector Cruz (Visit Tri-Cities)
What is Lodging Tax?
The lodging tax, also referred to as the hotel-motel tax, is a consumer tax on lodging charges for periods of less than 30 consecutive days for hotels, motels, rooming houses, private campgrounds, RV parks, and similar facilities.
How can Lodging Tax Revenues be used?
The guiding principle for the use of lodging taxes is that they must be used for activities, operations and expenditures designed to increase tourism. Specifically, lodging taxes can be used for:
- Tourism marketing;
- Marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists;
- Operations and capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by a municipality or a public facilities district; or
- Operations of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by nonprofit organizations (RCW 67.28.1816).
Note that, as of July 1, 2013, capital expenditures for tourism-related facilities owned by nonprofit organizations are no longer permitted expenditures of lodging tax funds.
Tourism marketing and operations are activities defined as "tourism promotion" by state law (RCW 67.28.080) including:
- Advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists;
- Developing strategies to expand tourism;
- Operating tourism promotion agencies; and
- Funding the marketing or operation of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
The 2022 Lodging Tax Funding Recommendation Meeting (minutes) was held on Monday, November 7th. Pasco LTAC submitted their recommendations to Pasco City Council at the December 5th City Council Meeting (video).
Meeting(s) are held annually, or as needed for the Special Project Fund, to review applications.
Annual Lodging Tax Funding Process
Applications for Pasco Lodging Tax are accepted during an annual a 30-day period, typically in August. Applications for 2023 were accepted from August 31st to September 21st. LTAC met on November 7th and their recommendations were reviewed by City Council on November 28th. The Pasco City Council passed the amended Lodging Tax Expenditure Plan on December 5th.
Special Project Funding Process
During the 2023 funding allocation process, Pasco LTAC recommended, and City Council voted to approve, a new application/funding option which allocates $15,000 to be available for special projects outside of the annual funding process.