Last week, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a charter ordinance concerning the use of funds from the city's transient guest tax. But the ordinance has not yet taken effect because it is subject to a 60-day protest period.

Last week, Leavenworth city commissioners approved a charter ordinance concerning the use of funds from the city's transient guest tax. But the ordinance has not yet taken effect because it is subject to a 60-day protest period.

Assistant City Manager Taylour Tedder said the ordinance provides more guidance regarding how money from the tax can be used.

The transient guest tax is charged to people who stay at hotels in the city.

The state government ordinarily collects transient guest tax revenue for municipalities. But in 2015, the City Commission approved a charter ordinance to allow the city, instead of the state, to collect the money from the city's transient guest tax.

But this earlier charter ordinance did not expand on the uses for the transient guest tax beyond what was already written in state law, Tedder said.

According to state law, money from the transient guest tax can be used for convention and tourism promotion.

"You can argue a lot of things are related to tourism," Tedder said.

He said the charter ordinance approved last week provides clear-cut guidance.

According to the new ordinance, money from the transient guest tax can be used for economic development and tourism promotion. This would include activities designed to attract visitors into the community as well as support of organizations that encourage increased lodging.

The ordinance also provides examples of expenditures related to economic development. These include defraying the cost of providing city services to festivals, convention and tourism functions as well as activities designed to attract industrial or commercial enterprises into the community. Money from the transient guest tax also could be used to promote the general economic welfare of the city.

If no one files a petition seeking a referendum on the charter ordinance, the ordinance will go into effect at the conclusion of the 60-day protest period.

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