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Tourism budget submitted for approval

Group will have fewer dollars in 2013

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Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 12:00 am

The Washington Parish Tourism Commission will have fewer dollars to spend in 2013, according to office manager Katherine Mayor.

Mayor submitted a budget to the Parish Council for $40,500, $930 less than the 2012 budget. The office operates solely on state appropriated funds based on a rebate of a percentage of the state hotel/motel taxes collected within the parish and paid to the state, Mayor said.

The state appropriation for the state fiscal year, which is July 1 through June 30, is $70,000, if that much is collected.

Although the parish spends no money on the office, the council must approve the budget.

Mayor said additional rent was added to the upcoming budget in the event a new location for the commission becomes available. The commission is currently operating out of an office in Franklinton.

This past year the office operated on a budget of $41,430, with $41,000 coming from the sales tax deduction and another $430 in interest income.

Mayor is paid $15,000 annually for her position and is the only employee listed in the commission’s expenses.

This past year the commission paid $2,700 in rent, but rent is budgeted for $12,000 in 2013 in the event suitable office space is located.

Records show Mayor slashed an item called Miscellaneous Expenses from $1,274 in 2012 to $300 for 2013. Advertising and promotions has also taken a hit, from $1,600 to $600.

“We continue to look for creative free or low cost opportunities to promote all local events, such as listing events on the Louisiana Travel website and the Louisiana Travel quarterly printed calendars,” Mayor said.

She added the commission is continuing to work on a website as well as social networking sites and will continue its participation in the Miss-Lou Rural Tourism Association and the Southern Louisiana Gumbo Cooperative marketing group.

The commission also participates in the Louisiana Northshore Quilt Trail.

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