County Commissioners are increasing the amount of money they expect to pay the Tourism Development Authority (TDA). At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial forecasts anticipated hotel stays to be significantly lower than average for fiscal year 2021. However, hotel stays for Buncombe County surpassed predictions. Due to this occurrence, the Occupancy Tax Fund (based on hotel stays) will be amended by an increase of $8.5 million to help cover the amount transferred to the TDA.
As the fiscal year has still not concluded, the County is not sure how much money the Occupancy Tax Fund will ultimately generate. However, the amendment covers the highest amount we believe will be collected. Also, there are no plans to modify our usual transaction with the TDA for this fiscal year’s Occupancy Tax Fund. The County has expressed interest in changing how the North Carolina legislature allows those funds to be used in the community, but that desire will not affect fiscal year 2021.
You can see the budget amendment ordinance here.