As the Oneida County Board recently wrestled to balance its 2014 budget, a proposed cut would have struck $10,000 from the county tourism council's budget.
Rhinelander Chamber Director Lara Reed said cutting the promotional budget for tourism could hurt the local economy as tourism revenue generates tax base...
"....travelers in Oneida county spent $185 million dollars(this year)...that's $5,193 dollars for every man, woman and child in the county. Traveler spending supports 2,070 full-time equivalent jobs..."
Reed says tourism in Oneida county each year generates $19 million in state and local taxes each year. She says state figures show there's a return of six dollars for every dollar spent. Reed says the promotional spending they did last year is paying dividends this year...
"....speaking for Rhinelander, which is a very important part of the county, our room tax budget for the first half of the year is up the highest it has been since 2007...."
She said unlike some other county budget line items, the tourism budget helps generate revenue for the county.
The $10,000 was returned to the budget for 2014.