GRANTS PASS, Ore. – Lodging taxes plan a large role in our city budgets but some local cities will be hit harder than others. The City of Grants Pass says they have a plan to make up projected Lodging Tax losses following COVID-19.
“In the short term we’re all right and we’ll be able to continue providing services, we’ll just have less flexibility,” said Adam Shults, Interim Finance Director with the City of Grants Pass.
Grants Pass Lodging Tax is split multiple ways. The largest section of that tax revenue, about 30%, goes to tourism. 16% goes to public safety, an additional 16% goes to parks, another 16% goes to projects related to parks and tourism and 12% goes to economic development in downtown Grants Pass.
The City of Grants Pass projects they’ll lose 30% of that tax revenue. They plan to cover that loss by dipping into discretionary funds.
“We are in a position where we can use more of those, it just gives us less flexibility to adapt to the community,” said Shults.
Some of the loss in tourism stems from cancelations but those cancelations also provide a way for the city to save money.
“We should see some savings there, things like “Back to the 50’s,” or our 4th of July celebration and Boatnik,” said Shults.
Those annual events aren’t the only source of tourism for Grants Pass, many excursions like rafting, fishing and boating can still happen within social distancing guidelines so the city remains optimistic about their recovery.
That being said, the City of Grants Pass says they will be monitoring projections closely and will potentially need to make adjustments sometime throughout the year.