Hospitality Tax Funding Application
The City of Fountain Inn, in 2009 established a local hospitality tax for funding the operation and maintenance of current tourism-related facilities and to fund projects and events that promote quality of life, tourism, and recreation. As part of this, the City makes grant funding available to nonprofit organizations hosting events within the Fountain Inn city limits.
Grant funding is available to nonprofit organizations through a competitive application process.
Grant awards are finalized by City Council with funding to be spent at the start of the new fiscal year (July). Additional information about the City of Fountain Inn's Hospitality Tax, including the grant application, can be found at https://www.fountaininn.org.
This document includes all information necessary to learn about and apply for Hospitality Tax funding Please review the information carefully before submitting a grant application.
I. Hospitality Tax Law
According to the South Carolina Local Hospitality Tax Act, the revenue generated by the hospitality tax must be used exclusively for the following purposes (Section 6-1-730):
(1) tourism-related buildings including, but not limited to, civic centers, coliseums, and aquariums;
(2) tourism-related cultural, recreational, or historic facilities;
(3) beach access and renourishment;
(4) highways, roads, streets, and bridges providing access to tourist destinations;
(5) advertisements and promotions related to tourism development; or
(6) water and sewer infrastructure to serve tourism-related demand.
NOTE: A tourist is defined as a person who does not reside in, but rather enters temporarily for reasons of recreation or leisure, the jurisdictional boundaries of a municipality for a municipal project, or the immediate area of the project for a county project. (Section 6-1-760).
II. Eligibility Criteria
Non-profit organizations located within Fountain Inn, SC city limits are eligible to receive hospitality tax funding. If the applicant previously received hospitality tax funding from the City of Fountain Inn a final report for the previous funding cycle should be included in the packet.
The City of Fountain Inn WILL NOT award Hospitality Tax funds to individuals, fraternity or sorority organizations, religious organizations, or organizations that support and/or endorse political campaigns or for any reason that is not compliant with South Carolina Local Hospitality Tax Act.
III. Funding Guidelines
The primary purpose of the application MUST be tourism. Priority will be given to projects that:
• Promote dining at restaurants and other eating/drinking establishments in the City of Fountain Inn.
• Promote and highlight the City of Fountain Inn’s historic and cultural venues, recreational facilities, and events
Promotional materials for the event/project (including, but not limited to, brochures, flyers, advertisements, etc.) must include a statement that
“Funding assistance provided by City of Fountain Inn Hospitality Tax Funds.”
IV. Application Process
Nonprofit organizations interested in applying for Hospitality Tax funding must complete a formal application and provide required supporting documentation. Applications for funding must be submitted on the City’s current Hospitality Tax Grant Application; submissions made on any other form will not be considered. Incomplete applications will not be evaluated. Applications are accepted via email, mail, or in-person by close of business on the specified due date.
All applications for funding will be reviewed by the Mayor and the City Administrator. Staff will make recommendations to the City Council who ultimately make the final determination of funding.
Applicants may be required to make a presentation to City Council. Council meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. Applicants will be notified if such a presentation is required.
Hospitality Tax grants are reimbursable awards. The City of Fountain Inn issues payments after the submission of a reimbursement request form documenting all related expenses with copies of receipts, invoices, and cleared checks. City staff will review all reimbursement requests and documentation against the original grant application and award criteria. Expenses not previously identified in the application will not be reimbursed.
After the reimbursement request form has been approved by the City, payment will be issued to the organization for reimbursement. Project/event vendors will NOT be paid by the City of Fountain Inn; checks will be written only to the approved applicant. The approved applicant must submit an IRS Form W-9, Statement of Assurance, and complete the final budget for the project on file to receive reimbursement. The process of receiving funding, after receipt and review of reimbursement form, takes approximately 10-15 business days.
If an organization is found to have unspent funding or has spent funding in any other way than as described and approved per the application, the funds must be returned to the City of Fountain Inn. All requests for grant reimbursement must be submitted by June 30th.
VI. Reporting Requirements
A final report is due within 30 days of the completion of the project.
• Number of people who attended the event
• Number of attendees from outside the City of Fountain Inn
• How the attendance number was determined (i.e. sign-in log, zip code request, etc.)
• Final Budget
• Copies of all advertisements or promotional materials associated with project
• Up to five photographs of the project/event, including one photo exhibiting acknowledgment of the City of Fountain Inn through receipt of Fountain Inn Hospitality Tax Funds