Crystal Lake lodging taxes awarded

CRYSTAL LAKE – The City Council on Tuesday approved requests from 10 organizations that asked for funding from the city’s hotel/motel tax program.

The city’s imposes a 5 percent tax on hotel and motel stays and awards the money to organizations that generate overnight visits in the city.

Council members agreed to fund the agencies at the same level as last year, and in a new move, agreed to that funding for two years if funds are available.

Allocations this year totaled $292,200.

The city estimated it had generated $290,000 in hotel-motel taxes this year.

The difference will be covered by reserves in the lodging tax fund.

“We have sufficient reserves to cover a very incremental overage,” Mayor Aaron Shepley said.

There was some discussion about whether to double the amount awarded to the McHenry County Convention and Visitors Bureau, but the council opted not to – for now. The council later could revisit the issue and give the tourism agency an additional $4,000 from reserves.

Crystal Lake awarded the bureau $4,000.

It said it receives $120,000 from the county, $12,000 from McHenry, $10,000 from Woodstock and $2,000 from Richmond, plus smaller amounts from other municipalities.

Councilman Ralph Dawson rejected the idea of an increase for the bureau, saying it wouldn’t be fair to other organizations that asked for increased funding. Request this year totaled $339,100.

The Raue Center for the Arts received the largest award – $150,000.

How they were funded

• Berkshire Ballet Theatre: $1,900

• Crystal Lake Babe Ruth Baseball League: $2,000

• Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce: $5,000

• Crystal Lake Rowing Club: $2,500

• Downtown Crystal Lake: $35,000

• Lakeside Legacy Foundation: $35,400

• McHenry County Convention and Visitors Bureau: $4,000

• McHenry County Music Center: $3,600

• McHenry County Youth Sports Association: $52,800

• Raue Center for the Arts: $150,000

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