The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Letters to the editor

May 12, 2014

Why is Greenville risking loss of tax revenue?

GREENVILLE — Why is the city of Greenville risking the loss of precious tax revenue while crushing their own economic supporters with one swift decision? That is the question I am left with after reading the story about tourism funding.

Although the goal may not be to devastate the Greenville Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, it is inevitable they will take a hit that will be very hard to recover from. It would also result in job loss and less manpower for programs and events that help facilitate networking and growth for local businesses. They have contracted with the Convention and Visitors Bureau for years because they are the organization with the expertise to carry these promotions and events to success. They have shown increasingly positive results the last few years.

The city contracts out many things for which they do not have in-house professional expertise. Major road rebuilding, building renovations, surveying, land development planning and other professional studies are a few examples.

The fact that the visitors bureau can operate on less than $150,000 in tourism funds per year is amazing. Lots of communities give an even higher percentage to their chambers and visitors bureaus. $150,000 is probably less than the cost overrun on the average city project. It is very likely that if the city takes over tourism instead of allowing the Convention and Visitors Bureau to use their skill and years of knowledge in the field, the cost will be even higher than it was in the first place.

Removing those funds from the hands of the visitors bureau would be no different than a business deciding to save money by cutting their advertising or cutting their experienced marketing executive to let a less expensive intern handle the job. It would simply be a poor management decision that an undergrad in marketing or business could spot very easily. Not to mention the fact that non-profits like the visitors bureau are usually skilled at being able to get the biggest “bang” for their buck because they know they might not get another dollar for quite some time. (This situation is a prime example of that mentality)

Instead of empire building, the city could think of the savings that they could reap by turning MORE things over to the CVB. How about the booking of the new YMCA events center, the Municipal Auditorium and the Civic Center? Then the city would have an easier time concentrating on their core responsibilities like providing police protection and repairing city streets.

Concerned Citizen,

Micah Nichols

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