Hotel tax revenues benefit diverse assets of travel and tourism

It’s easy to forget just how much revenue comes to Lycoming County through local hotel stays and tourism.

Until the annual divvying up of 15 percent of the hotel tax revenues.

Last week Lycoming County travel and tourism officials awarded $134,000 in grant dollars for the coming year to 19 local groups.

The amount represents 15 percent of the proceeds from the county’s room tax.

The 19 groups represent 83 percent of those applying for funds, including three first-time recipients.

The recipients represent a cross-section of community assets, from the Thomas T. Taber Historical Museum to the Preservation Williamsport Victorian Christmas to the Repasz Band to the Billtown Blues Association.

Greenway partnerships, Babe Ruth baseball, the Williamsport Symphony, the Loyalsock Valley Antique Machinery Association, the Muncy Historical Society and the Susquehanna Fanny Float all received grant money.

These groups operate their organizations and events on shoestring budgets, so the grant money is especially important. It’s money they otherwise might not be able to raise and helps to ensure quality attractions in Lycoming County.

There is room to debate whether 15 percent of the hotel tax revenues is a high enough percentage to allocate for tourism and travel.

But there’s no doubting the worth of the grants and the diversity of the allocations.