Funding for Destination Marketing in Seattle Southside and King County Threatened
Your Support is Needed at the King County Council Meeting
When: Monday, September 17th, 1:30pm
Where: King County Council Chambers, 10th floor of the King County Courthouse: 516 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Last Wednesday, the King County Council voted 5-4 to slash future lodging tax revenue intended for tourism promotion by 94%. This action impacts the 2% lodging tax credit and over the next 23 years is estimated to be $331 million.
The county’s destination marketing organizations were promised - and have long planned for - a piece of county lodging tax revenue to enhance tourism promotion when debt service on CenturyLink Stadium sunsets in 2021. To date, King County is the only county in the state that does not return a portion of lodging tax revenue to the industry that generates it.
In 2008, the Washington State legislature approved legislation which designated revenues from this lodging tax in King County after 2021. Arts and culture would receive 37.5%, transient oriented housing would receive 37.5%, and tourism would receive the remaining.
However, last week’s King County legislation – if passed by the full King County Council on September 17 – would cannibalize the tourism promotion fund for maintenance and other improvements on Safeco Field ($135 million) and more funding for affordable housing ($165 million). Under this proposal, the county’s nonprofit destination marketing organizations would be forced to split just $1 million per year and that revenue would end after eight years – a total of $8 million.
If you haven't already, please write a letter to your council members urging them to support tourism promotion and marketing in Southwest King County.
Craft your own message, or adapt the letter template.
Send a letter or email to:
King County Executive
King County Chinook Building
401 5th Ave. Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98104
King County Councilmembers who supported this week’s legislation (Look up your district and councilmember here):
Council Chair Joe McDermott (District 8)
Reagan Dunn (District 9)
Council Vice Chair Kathy Lambert (District 3)
Council Vice Chair Claudia Balducci (District 6)
Pete von Reichbauer (District 7)
And please thank the councilmembers who dissented and have pledged their support in restoring funding for tourism promotion:
Larry Gossett (District 2)
Jeanne Kohl-Welles (District 4)
Dave Upthegrove (District 5)
Rod Dembowski (District 1)