MINOT, N.D. — Minot’s convention and visitor’s bureau has proposed a sales tax on food and beverages that would help generate the revenue it needs to stay competitive in the tourism industry.
The proposed 1 percent tax that would affect restaurants and bars would accrue nearly $1 million, the Minot Daily News reported. If approved, the collections could be included in Visit Minot’s budget for 2019.
A committee for Visit Minot is currently developing a plan to present to the City Council. The committee also plans to meet with the food and beverage industry to present information and garner feedback.
Visit Minot’s income has plummeted from $1.1 million to less than $450,000 due to an economic shift that caused its two income sources, lodging and rental car taxes, to drop
“We have done everything we can possibly think of to cut expenses,” said Joel Feist, the board president of Visit Minot. “We have reduced staff from five to two people, and we are trying to focus whatever revenue we have on events that will have an impact. It’s virtually impossible to attract events if you don’t have the revenue to bring them in.”
Phyllis Burckhard, executive director of Visit Minot, said there are two large conventions that require between 120 and 400 hotel rooms that the bureau would like to pursue if it had the money.
Burckhard said the bureau’s staff size also hinders convention recruitment efforts. She said Visit Minot’s two-person staff size is more comparable to bureaus in Dickinson and Devils Lake than to North Dakota’s larger cities.
Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com