Q&A: HP’s + $80k

Another thing recent survey comments has brought to light: there’s some misinformation out there regarding the Heritage Park Amphitheater budget. And I can see how residents might be upset and/or confused regarding this part of the budget.

Take, for example, this comment:

“A large chunk of money has been moved to the Heritage Park account. Until that is explained, I don’t support any increase.”

So I’d like to clear that up: the money for the HP Amphitheatre comes from hospitality/ accommodations tax, which is collected and held in our Special Revenue Fund. City staff indicates an increase in revenue of approx. $99,000 this year. That money must by law be spent on tourism-related expenses. The additional $80,000 in this year’s budget is for the 4th of July event and other qualifying events the city will plan over the course of the year.

One resident offered this advice on the budget:

“Take the money from the 80k in the proposed budget from entertainment…”

That would be great, but let’s be clear: No money from the General Fund goes to any of the HP Amphitheater expenses. None. It all comes from the Special Revenue Fund, and the use of that money is dictated by State law. No money from the Special Revenue Fund can be used on city services like sanitation. So we can’t move that $80k to pay for trash/leaves/brush.

You can read the city’s ordinance regarding hospitality tax here. State law is here.