Jefferson Township Should Name New Paris Area Chamber as CVB
Earlier this summer the Preble County Commissioners began proceedings to institute a second three percent “bed tax” that would affect every hotel, motel and campground with cabins in the county. This is a tax that goes to the first governmental entity that levies it. That means a township or village could levy it first and keep local dollars for local use. A minimum of half the money to be collected is currently required by Ohio Revised Code (ORC) to go towards promoting tourism and attracting more customers to the area. Knowing of the county intent, Jefferson Township, Israel Township and New Paris levied the tax before the county. Having levied the tax, they must name a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to administer the funds for the use intended by ORC. The Village of New Paris has already named the New Paris Chamber as their CVB. Once that contract is signed, money collected from Natural Springs or any future lodging facility in the village will go to promoting tourism and bringing more business to New Paris and Jefferson Township.
The Jefferson Township Trustees have yet to name a CVB but it has been mentioned that they may name the county’s CVB.
It is the opinion of the New Paris Area Chamber of Commerce (NPACC) that the Jefferson Township Trustees should follow the Village of New Paris and also name NPACC as the township’s CVB. Money raised in Jefferson Township is best used to promote not only the township but also New Paris. As an example, the Chamber currently shares the expense of a billboard on I-70 with the Trustees. An increased and dedicated funding stream would enable the Chamber to pursue further tourism promotion of the area and attract more business. It would also free up money raised from Chamber fund raisers to pursue other efforts such as a remote control for the tornado alarm, children’s playground equipment and other expenses like Fourth of July fireworks. New Paris has much to offer but the tourism and business lodging base of this area also comes from the Richmond and Darke County areas. Securing funds from a county CVB could be problematic when trying to convince a county board where there would be understandable pressure to promote events and attractions that have not in the past provided tourism customers to Jefferson Township and New Paris. There are many events in Richmond and Darke County where funding could be used to attract more customers to New Paris for not only overnight stays at the properties collecting the funds but also to eat at local restaurants, shop at the antique mall, farmers markets as well as golf, snow tube and visit the corn maze. This would not eliminate the New Paris Chamber from aiding in promotion of Preble County events that the Chamber feels have a history or are likely to attract more business to New Paris and Jefferson Township.
The Village of New Paris has funding concerns and attracting more business and dollars to the area can only help solve this problem. It makes little sense to send money to a county effort when there remains concern of even keeping street lights lit at night here.
It is the opinion of the New Paris Area Chamber that sending money raised through a tax in this area to the county would decrease the likelihood of that funding being approved by a county CVB to return to New Paris and Jefferson Township.
The New Paris Area Chamber believes the best decisions for promoting this area will be made locally and not by a committee comprised of members from other areas with their own local interests. The New Paris Area Chamber will gladly work with any entity, be it from Preble County, another county, event, attraction or state tourism effort that can aid in bringing more business to Jefferson Township and New Paris.
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