Council Bypasses ‘Journey Superior’ For Fee to Deal with Future Tourism Tax Distribution

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An modification was additionally accepted stating that something requiring $25,000 or extra of tourism income must exit for bid to different entities, then accepted by council.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The Superior Metropolis Council determined to shake up the best way they allocate tourism tax {dollars}, voting in favor of building a fee put ahead by Mayor Jim Paine to deal with the town’s tourism income, a task at the moment held by Journey Superior.

In keeping with the Mayor, this doesn’t lower out Journey Superior from the equation however opens the door to extra choices.

The council voted 6 to 4 in favor of the Mayor’s proposal, with Councilors Graskey, Kern, Fennessey, and Sutherland voting towards it. It additionally got here with an modification aimed toward reigning in how a lot management the fee has over these funds.

The fee modifications the present system, which breaks up the annual tourism income by giving 30% to the town and the opposite 70% to Journey Superior, also called a customer’s bureau.

Journey Superior’s contract with the town is up on the finish of the yr.

Councilors Brent Fennessey and Keith Kern argued the Mayor introduced the concept of adjusting to a fee too late.

Kern added, in the event that they determined to finish the contract after this yr, they might haven’t any strong plan going ahead. “We nonetheless haven’t any foundation or tips for what we’re going to do.”

“We’re sitting right here within the 4th quarter with a contract that units to run out with an entity, go away them excessive and dry if the fee decides, their proper to do this in the event that they wish to,” mentioned the 9th District Councilor. “However what are we going to do for the primary and second quarter till we determine what the fee’s going to do?”

“We now have a playbook with no performs in it,” he mentioned.

In the meantime, Mayor Jim Paine mentioned in keeping with state statute in the event that they didn’t vote on a fee now the one choice they might have could be to stay with Journey Superior. Transferring to a fee, he mentioned, would open up the dialog.

“It does give us the likelihood to ask questions we should not have proper now,” mentioned the Mayor, “there isn’t any course of for awarding this contract.”

“The statute is obvious, it goes to Journey Superior and that’s it,” he mentioned.

Taylor Pedersen, President and CEO of Journey Superior and head of the Superior-Douglas Space Chamber of Commerce, mentioned the Mayor, who sits on the 20-person board of Journey Superior, has been attacking the group.

Pedersen added that in terms of Travel Superior’s performance, the numbers speak for themselves. 

Mayor Paine pressured, this isn’t about attacking Journey Superior or the work they do, however utilizing a way utilized by different cities to discover different choices, comparable to a request for proposal.

“Main vacationer locations: Madison, Milwaukee, Dane County, Lake Geneva, these locations all use this construction and so they’re attracting the biggest quantity of tourism throughout all the Midwest,” he mentioned. “It’s working for them, I don’t know why it will probably’t work for us as effectively.”

On the earlier metropolis council assembly, Mayor Paine mentioned a fee could be the one means tourism tax cash might go towards probably constructing a conference middle inside the metropolis of Superior.

Following the approval of the fee Tuesday, the council did approve an modification, stating that something requiring $25,000 or extra of tourism income must exit for bid to different entities — comparable to Journey Superior — then accepted by council.

Something underneath $25,000 could be as much as the fee to spend.

The town introduced in roughly $850,000 in tourism tax income earlier than the pandemic in 2019.

This transfer comes simply weeks after Duluth Mayor Emily Larson pushed for and in the end received tourism tax {dollars} pulled from longtime Go to Duluth, and as a substitute given to an outdoor advertising agency from the Twin Cities.





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