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City of Spearfish looks to slash tourism board’s budget

Most of the organizations funding is looking to be cut.
Most of the organizations funding is looking to be cut.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 3:08 PM MDT
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - UPDATE: Even though the city is still cutting the allocated funds from the hospitality tax out of the 2021 budget for Visit Spearfish.

Now, The city is giving the organization the one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars they withheld in June to help finish out the year.

Visit Spearfish plans to do some re-budgeting as well, they will only use one hundred and eighteen thousand this year leaving seven thousand dollars to carry over into 2021.

President of the Visit Spearfish Board Mark Kazmer says the organization will have to completely reinvent how they get their funding.

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The city of Spearfish came out with their 2021 budget and due to COVID-19, cuts had to be made.

Visit Spearfish, Inc. a marketing company tasked with telling people what the city has to offer, gets two types of funding, some from the Occupancy Tax and some from the Hospitality Tax.

In the 2021 Fiscal Year budget, the recipients of the Hospitality Tax were granted about 10% less than in the 2020 budget, at least for most organizations. Funding for Visit Spearfish was fully cut. Previously, they got about 60% of its funding through the hospitality tax.

President of the Visit Spearfish Board Mark Kazmer says this has made it difficult for them to budget for next year, but nothing is set in stone yet.

“The budget has been proposed, there are changes that can be made and that’s why we’re fighting now with the hopes that they do retain some of the funds,” says Kazmer.

Officials from the city of Spearfish are working with Visit Spearfish to find a solution.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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