So . . . Overture Funding Changes . . .

Posted June 27th, 2017 @ 7:25 AM by

Switching funding from the City to Room Tax Commission and cutting the council out of the information loop . . . interesting . . . Meeting is tonight at 6:00 if you’re interested. I might be, depending upon how the day goes . . . wondering what other shifts they might have in mind for the 2018 budget.

Here’s the amendment that will be considered by the Room Tax Commission tonight . . . there must be a resolution that has to go to the council at some point . . . but I don’t think I’ve seen it (maybe I had and it wasn’t clear from the title or I just missed it)

DRAFT Amendment for 2018 Annual Performance Agreement between the City and Overture Center Foundation (OCF).

Add a new paragraph to read as follows:

Roles of the City, OCF, Room Tax Commission and Madison Arts Commission (MAC).

Since the Structural Agreement between the City and OCF was signed, the State created new rules for the use of room tax funds collected by the City. Those room tax funds have, in part, supported the City’s annual grant to OCF under this Annual Operating Agreement in the past. In
the last year, the entire grant to OCF came from the room tax. Now, a large portion of the room tax is controlled by the newly created Room Tax Commission. The following describes the roles of the various bodies:

1. The City of Madison will continue to appropriate funds for a grant to OCF in its annual budget process, and will continue to be the party entering into the Annual Operating Agreement with OCF.

2. All funds to be appropriated for the OCF grant are to be room tax funds and are to be designated by the Room Tax Commission of the City of Madison. Since the City does not control this designation by the Room Tax Commission, the amount of the grant will not exceed the designation by the Room Tax Commission unless the City makes a separate appropriation for such purpose.

3. OCF will continue to report to the Madison Arts Commission (MAC) as its primary contact at the City. Written reports, including the annual audit, should be shared with the Mayor’s office, the Finance Department and the Room Tax Commission.

Draft 06-22-2017

From the minutes it appears there should be a similar amendment for the Greater Madison Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. But I don’t see that one.

The Room Tax Commission now controls over $10 million from room taxes. This is the fiscal note from the resolution creating the commission:

Under state law, municipalities that collect a room tax must, beginning in 2017, transfer 70% of room tax revenues to a Room Tax Commission which will make decisions on expenditures for tourism promotion and development. Room tax collections in 2016 are estimated to total $15.1 million. If this requirement were in place in 2016, $10.57 million in room tax revenues would be transferred to the Commission. Tourism promotion and development includes tangible municipal development, including a convention center, tourism marketing activities, and transient tourism informational services.

I think we’re giving over $1.75 million to the Overture at the moment . . . actually, its $1.9M.

It’s curious to me, the council still has to pass the funding in their budget, but they aren’t going to get any reports, on the Madison Arts Commission, the Mayor and the Finance Department. Hmmmmm . . . Soglin vs. the City Council round 5,278? Or will they be happy just having members on the Madison Arts Commission (Sheri Carter) and the Room Tax Commission (Mark Clear and Mike Verveer)?

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