‘Chuck-A-Rama Defense Fund’ stalls
A bill before the Utah Legislature that Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott calls the "Chuck-A-Rama Defense Fund" was stalled this week in committee.
Elliott encourages state lawmakers to oppose efforts to divert tourism-promotion dollars from counties into the hands of Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food.
"We probably do a better job of advertising in our way to fit our needs than anybody else, including the Utah Department of Agriculture and the Utah Restaurant Association," Elliott said.
Senate Bill 68, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, could require counties divert a percentage of the sales tax imposed on prepared food and beverages into the state’s so-called Restaurant Industry Promotion Fund.
Utah’s agriculture and food commissioner could begin to oversee how that money is spent if the bill is passed.
"It’s an issue because it diminishes (local) funding resources," Elliott said.
The bill could make it difficult for Park City restaurants to attract out-of-state guests, insists Bill Malone, executive director of the Park City Chamber/Bureau.
"If you look at it from a Summit County perspective, why would we want to see promotion dollars being earmarked by the state," Malone said, adding that the new fund would target advertising at people who live in Utah.
A Chamber/Bureau lobbyist claims SB68 isn’t likely to pass, Malone said.
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