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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Heritage and Culture Bill to Be Considered in State Leg

4Culture has a Story about a possible solution for funding the Arts, Culture and Heritage Programs in our WA State. 

The public arts, culture and heritage agency has been a proponent of new funding mechanisms for our state.  The funding mechanism that has been in place for decades is reaching a deadline. That is the so called "hotel/motel" tax.  

Communities and non-profits have been able to access these funds for decades to preserve their cultural heritage and promote tourism and arts programs. These programs have provided millions of dollars to local economies as shown in a recent study by the UW.

Can we afford NOT to fund these programs?

(see previous article in Of Paramount Importance Blog

An advocacy program has also sprung up to promote the solution. It's called Advocate 4Culture.
Over 700 organizations and individuals have joined forces to promote the solution.

4Culture is an Public Development Authority that promotes cultural and heritage programs in the region.

Ronald School built in 1912
4Culture has funded grant
programs that have benefitted
this historic building and the
Shoreline Historical Museum


   Advancing Conversation About Culture in King County, Washington
As many of our constituents are well aware,  the state credit on lodging taxes that support 4Culture’s programs will sunset for cultural use in 2012, and would result in a 90% cut in 4Culture’s funding and programs as early as next year. In September 2010, 4Culture’s board renewed their commitment to resolving this funding crisis, by passing Resolution 2010-02 which makes “securing the use of future lodging tax revenues for arts and heritage” among their highest priorities.
The Board has been working with King County leadership and the state legislature toward this end. Today, a bill dropped in the House, HB 1997, that will secure the future for 4Culture’s arts, heritage, and preservation funding programs.
HB 1997, was drafted by King County leadership in conversation with key support from key legislative champions in the House and Senate. The lead sponsor is Representative Orwall. The bill proposes to secure existing visitor taxes and direct them toward economic development activities: arts & heritage, tourism-related facilities, such as the convention center, community development activities, low-income housing developments, and revitalization of the historic Pioneer Square district and culturally rich International District.)
Public hearing(s) for this bill should be scheduled in the next few days, and may occur mid-next week. We will post updates on hearings, as they are scheduled.

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