Tourist development tax grant workshops announced

St Johns Cultural Council Executive Director Andrew Witt announced to Historic City News that two workshops have been scheduled for those interested in applying for Arts, Culture and Heritage grant funding during the 2013 fiscal year.

Applications to receive Tourist Development Council funds for festivals, events and qualified programs occurring between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013, must be received before Friday May 18.

The first formal workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 18, beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall; located at 1050 A1A North in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The second formal workshop will be held on Thursday, April 19, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at Prosperity Bank; located at 790 North Ponce de Leon Boulevard in St Augustine.

Florida law provides for tourist development tax to be used exclusively for marketing or advertising that is designed to increase “tourist-related business activity” to fund convention and tourist bureaus or visitor information centers; to finance beach improvements and maintenance, fishing pier, and similar beach related projects. A tourist is defined as a person who participates in trade or recreation activities outside the county of his or her permanent residence or who rents or leases transient accommodations.

Convention centers, sports stadiums, and museums, which are publicly owned and operated, or owned and operated by not-for-profit organizations and opened to the public, are eligible to receive funds.

Simply put, by state law, the Tourist Development Council’s funding program is permitted only as a means of advertising and promoting tourism.

FUNDING LIMITS:

Regional events – maximum request: $100,000.
Ongoing cultural program development and presentation – maximum request: $50,000.
Enhancement events that have no or little income potential – maximum request: $10,000.
Arts, culture and heritage focused fundraising events – maximum request: $10,000.
Fundraising events that are arts culture and heritage focused but that support projects or programs of non-ach related applicants – maximum request: $10,000.

Witt said that forms including draft guidelines, application forms and a score sheet to be used by the funding panel in evaluating the applicants are available from the Tourist Development Council offices located in the County Administration Building located at 500 San Sebastian View in St Augustine. Contact Dena Masters or Glenn Hastings at (904) 829-1711 for details.

St Johns County Tourist Development Council members:

Jack Peter – Ponte Vedra Beach
Rich O’Brien – Commissioner, St Augustine Beach
Joseph Boles – Mayor, St Augustine
Kenneth Bryan – Commissioner, St Johns County
Irving Kass – St Augustine
Fred Cozby – Ponte Vedra Beach
Bill Hughes – Ponte Vedra Beach
Jeffrey Mayers – Ponte Vedra Beach
Scott Bartosch – St Augustine

Contact Andrew Witt for program details at the St Johns Cultural Council offices located at 15 Old Mission Avenue in St Augustine.

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