4Culture is the independent agency that oversees distribution of the King County lodging tax funds to arts and heritage groups. Over 400 Seattle-area arts organization and individuals receive funding from 4Culture. The legislation which established that revenue stream is due to expire in 2012. Advocates are lobbying for two bills currently being considered in the extended session of the legislature which would extend the funding. In addition to that, 4Culture has been hit hard by the decline in travelling. According to 4Culture spokesperson Sara Edwards, “Essentially, the recession has impacted the lodging industry, and therefore the amount that is funding our current programs has been down the last 18 months or so. In the winter, the board voted to use a little bit of the interest income from our endowment to help bridge the gap in the 2009 budget, so we could keep our funding programs stable. They felt this was really important in a year when orgs and individuals were seeing a lot of other revenue streams down. But, if legislation is not passed this year, and the lodging tax revenues continue to be down due to the recession, our funding programs in 2011 will be half of what they are in 2010” For more information follow the above link.
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