Thursday, March 31, 2011

Roseburg City Council Shot Down Proposal That Would Have Reduced VCB's Marketing Budget

On March 28, Roseburg City Council rejected a proposal to use hotel and motel taxes to revamp the South Umpqua waterfront. Under this proposal, the city’s VCB would have had about $200,000 a year less in their advertising budget. Drew Baily, regional representative for ORLA, provided testimony before Roseburg City Council in opposition to this proposal.

Here’s an excerpt from his testimony:

“At this time, we (ORLA) do not support the proposal to reduce the Roseburg marketing budget allocated to tourism promotion and ask that you table any discussion of reducing the funds used for marketing. The hospitality industry is one of the leading economic drivers for the state and we ask that you continue to support and promote a growing, sustainable and productive industry in Roseburg.

There may never be a right time to raise taxes or put jobs at risk, but there certainly are wrong times to do so. Douglas County’s unemployment rate remains in double digits and any decision that puts existing and future business growth at risk should be avoided if at all possible.

Some wine industry experts predict that Southern Oregon and the Umpqua Valley are positioned to be the next Napa Valley. Roseburg should reaffirm its commitment to spurring on economic growth through promotion of sustainable, high yield industries. The tourism industry is one that creates a positive economic impact on communities throughout Oregon.

We ask you to reject any proposal that threatens to further weaken the local tourism economy or negates the long-term benefit gained from a robust tourism industry. Thank you for the opportunity to provide input into this important matter before Council.”

Read more on ORLA's advocacy efforts.

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