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City seeks new sources to support events center

Posted: Friday, Apr 5th, 2013

Dwindling resources and revenue are hardly news in recent years as state, county and city governments attempt to cover their usual needs and services with declining income. But shortages cut close to home last week when the latest report for transient room taxes (TRT) projected a shortfall that would hit the Florence Events Center (FEC) and the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, both of which rely substantially on that tax revenue.

The city’s portion of the TRT, 3 percent of local income — no citizen property taxes can be allocated — is designated to the FEC. A smaller amount, 1 percent, is designated to the chamber. Those dollars were once expected to help sustain both entities, along with FEC sales and chamber memberships.

But with the spiraling economy, the new event center at Three Rivers Casino and Hotel, an unknown entity when the FEC was first planned, a lack of a “host hotel” or new resort expected to be built to complement the FEC, and a major income hit to Driftwood Shores while it underwent renovations, the sunny side of incoming dollars has not been realized.

For the complete article see the 04-06-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-06-2013 paper.

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