“Re-Imagine the TDA” forum at Pack Library on April 24

Press release from Ben Williamson:

Asheville and Buncombe County residents will soon have the opportunity to learn more about the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (TDA), as well as engage policymakers about tourism and the TDA’s role in shaping the local political and financial landscape. A forum, entitled “Re-Imagine the TDA,” is scheduled to be held at Lord Auditorium in Asheville’s Pack Library on Wednesday, April 24, at 6:00 p.m. The event is free of charge and all are welcome to attend. Stephanie Brown, Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO, and Julie Mayfield, Asheville City Council and TDA Board Member, have confirmed their plans to attend and participate in the event. Mayfield recently announced her candidacy for the NC Senate District 49 seat.

The agenda includes a brief history of the TDA, led by Brown. Afterwards, attendees will learn about recent TDA grant-funding, a review of what other cities have done with their occupancy tax funds, a discussion about the impact of tourism in our area, as well as a chance to learn about how those wishing to change the current structure of our TDA may be able to take action. The event will also include a question and answer period, where attendees can pose questions or share comments and ideas directly to Brown, Mayfield, and others in attendance.

“We realize there is often misinformation and confusion surrounding the TDA,” noted Ben Williamson of the Western North Carolina Chapter of the Green Party, the event’s organizing body. “However, there is no confusion around the impact of tourism on our local economy and the presence of many millions of taxpayer dollars accumulated each year through our occupancy taxes. We are interested in learning more about how we currently use those funds, and how other potential structures may allow us to better address the needs of workers and families in our area. We are also excited to give members of our community direct access to these policymakers to engage in this important conversation,” Williamson said.

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