Knoxville — The Knoxville Chamber of Commerce Board presented a proposal to the City of Knoxville earlier this week, regarding the hotel/motel tax.
City Council members Dawn Allspach-Kline and April Verwers met with Chamber of Commerce Board President Mikol Sesker and Executive Director Larissa Van Donselaar earlier this year in an attempt to reach an agreement regarding accountability and use of the funds the Chamber receives. For nearly 10 years, the City has allocated 50 percent of the hotel/motel tax funds to the Chamber. The City's auditors have been seeking more accountability regarding how this tax money is used.
The small group meetings did not yield a successful agreement, nor did an extensive discussion at the May 5 council meeting. The resolution to the discussion on May 5 was that the Chamber would present a proposal and a joint work session involving the council and Chamber board would be held.
The Chamber's proposal (attached to this article) includes mandatory reports to the council and Chamber involvement during the council's budget meetings between November and January. The Chamber still seeks 50 percent of the hotel/motel tax funds.
One point of disagreement between the council and Chamber was whether or not to use the tax money to help pay administrative salaries. The Chamber's proposal includes allocating 20 percent of hotel/motel tax funds for administrative costs.
Further discussion of this matter is expected at the Monday, May 19, council meeting. The meeting will be held in the council chambers at 6:15 p.m. It is open to the public.