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Local

Woodstock distributes hotel/motel tax fund

WOODSTOCK – The city added a few organizations to its list of non-profits receiving help from the hotel/motel tax fund this year.

In all, 15 agencies and events will recieve a total of $76,500 during this year's distribution of the 5-percent tax on short-term overnight stays, which the city council implemented in 2005.

Woodstock's new "Summer in the Park" event and the local history organization Woodstock Celebrates joined the list. Summer in the Park will receive a $500 cut of the fund, while Woodstock Celebrates was approved for $2,000.

The city council decided in 2007 that hotel/motel tax funds would go toward events and activities that draw attention to Woodstock and generate overnight stays.

"If you come to Woodstock, there are always events going on," City Manager Roscoe Stelford said. "These events are run by many of the people on the list. It does its job."

Organizations are placed in two tiers and headlined by a $30,000 annual payment to the Woodstock Opera House. The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, McHenry County Visitors Bureau and Challenger Learning Center round out the tier-one organizations, receiving $10,000, $10,000 and $6,000, respectively.

Tier-two payments range from $500 to $3,000.

The city had traditionally deposited about 10-percent of hotel/motel taxes into a fund, which could be used for future events in the current year. But officials this year decided to distribute nearly all of the $77,500 the tax brought in.

The fund balance currently sits at $68,000.

"We felt we have enough money in the account already," Stelford said. "If there was a once-in-a-lifetime sort of event that someone wanted to bring to Woodstock, we would be able to provide some funding."

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