MUSCATINE, Iowa — The city of Muscatine has seen some record revenues from its hotel and motel tax, but city officials and the independent Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau weren't able to definitively pinpoint the reason for the increase.
"We really aren't sure about the reason for that," said Muscatine's Finance Director, Nancy Lueck.
According to a release from the Bureau, the 2013-14 fiscal year saw the city bring in $415,041.72, a new record. Although totals per year have varied widely, the average annual revenues for the tax, which was enacted in 1981, have been $334,328.46.
Hotel and motel tax revenues are divided up, with 25 percent each going to the Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Musser Public Library, the Muscatine Art Center, and the city's general fund.
Lueck said the city bases its budgets for those programs on the previous fiscal year's hotel and motel tax to give the organizations a more stable idea of its resources. Only the Convention and Visitors Bureau receives all of its funding from hotel and motel tax; the remainder of the recipients receive revenues from other sources.
Nick Cusick, the newly hired director of the bureau, said one possible factor in the revenue increase might have been the increase in funding to the Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau during the 2013-14 fiscal year, a jump to $84,992 in spending from $39,518 in the 2012-13 fiscal year. This allowed for a full-time staff for the bureau for the first time.
"We hope that part of it was that reason," said Cusick.
After beginning as a branch of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry, it is now an independent agency, overseen by a a 21-member board of directors appointed by Mayor DeWayne Hopkins, with headquarters in City Hall.