In February of 2013, the Pike County Board approved a County Accommodations Tax of 4%. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue and state law, any place offering rooms for overnight stays can be taxed, unless the room is occupied consecutively for 30 or more days.
The ordinance was amended in August of 2013 and the first collection period was set as August-December of 2013. The ordinance provides for an Advisory Board consisting of two county board members, four members who provide overnight accommodations, and Gina Sheurman, Pike County Economic Development Director. The seven member board is:
- Jonas Petty, The William Watson Hotel, chairman of the Advisory Board
- Jessica Funk, Green Acres Hotel
- Gary Harpole, Harpole's Heartland Lodge
- Judy Dean, Gray House Bed & Breakfast
- Dr. Dan Mefford, Pike County Board
- Tami Webel, Pike County Board
- Gina Sheurman, PCEDC
Questions regarding the application process can be referred to Jonas Petty at 217-248-6196. The Advisory Board reports to the Economic and Community Development committee of the Pike County Board.
The money collected locally stays in Pike County and cannot be used for administrative salaries or benefits. It is to be used for projects that have a beneficial impact on Pike County. With four complete quarters of collection efforts complete, as of this date (12/24/14) more than $64,000 has been collected from the 4% tax and these funds are available for projects in the county. The Advisory Board has just released the process for grant applications. It is available below and as a downloadable pdf. We have also provided a word document that you can use to make your application. It is at the bottom of this page. Applications must be typed. The deadline for the first round of applications is January 30, 2015, and all applications must be received by that date to be eligible to be considered in this round of funding. Applications can be accepted by email by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org or they can be mailed to the Funding Advisory Board in care of the Pike County Clerk's office.
Pike County Accommodations Tax Product Funding Program
The County of Pike is offering project funds for tourism through projects presented to them by individuals, businesses, agencies or corporations with a physical presence/location in Pike County or a sponsoring Pike County Organization. These grant funds are made possible through the accommodations tax funds received by Pike County. All of these funds must be spent on ventures that promote area tourism.
Application and Project Deadline
Applications must be received by 5:00 pm on the deadlines provided.
Each applicant will be afforded the opportunity to attend a brief question and answer session with the Advisory Board. Applicants need not be available during the board’s review of an application. Applicants will be notified of application approval/denial as soon as the decision is made by the Advisory Board.
- All applications must be typed
- All areas of the application must be completed
- All supporting materials must be submitted
Eligible applications include any individual, agency, group, business, or non-profit organization whose project has a beneficial impact on Pike County. The Advisory Board encourages creative projects that enhance the lives of residents of Pike County or promotes tourism in the community. This program supports projects that include but are limited to:
- Develops and/or expands tourism programs or facilities
- Builds partnerships and cooperative efforts among tourism providers
- Enhances and initiates efforts to attract visitors to the community
Projects must also comply with all local laws, and grantees are responsible for proper licensing, permits, insurance and other applicable requirements.
- Projects with full funding already in place
- Projects that do not have a beneficial impact on Pike County
- Funds may not be used for the benefit of a single individual.
- A complete project budget and schedule of completion must be included with the application
- Applicants must have accurate estimates included with the project budget
- Applicants are eligible for up to 100% funding and funds will be distributed as follows:Funds will be paid only to the applicant, not to contractors or vendors
- Requests under $1,000—funding will be received up front upon approval
- Requests over $1,000—half of the funding will be received up front, with remainder received upon completion of project or per bills received, whichever is mutually agreed upon.
- Funds will be paid only to the applicant, not to contractors or vendors
- Quarterly reports will be submitted to Funding Advisory Board to update on progress and budget.
- Upon completion of the project, the applicant must submit documentation of expenses and a project recap
- Any funds that are not expended or are found to be outside the scope of the grant made by the Funding Advisory Board must be reimbursed/returned, by the applicant, to the County's Accommodations Tax Fund.
Review/Evaluation Criteria (Tourism)
Projects will be evaluated using certain criteria including but not limited to:
- Potential number of guests to be generated by the project, with emphasis on overnight stays in the community.
- Number of people the project will reach
- Financial need of the project
- Percentage of project funding being requested
- “Seed money” to start a new project or expand an existing project
- Quality of the project
- The likelihood that the project will achieve stated goals