§ 35.24  ASHLAND TOURIST AND CONVENTION COMMISSION.
      (A)   The city, pursuant to powers and authorities granted to it by KRS 91A.350, hereby creates and establishes the Ashland Tourist and Convention Commission as the successor in interest to the Ashland/Boyd County Tourist and Convention Commission for the purpose of promoting recreational, convention and tourist activity within the City of Ashland, Kentucky; said Commission to be governed by KRS 91A.350, 91A.360, 91A.390 and other applicable provisions of the Kentucky Revised Statutes as they now exist and as they may hereafter be amended; and said Commission shall, therefore, have all the authority, powers, duties and obligations granted to it by said statutes and this section.
   (B)   The Ashland Tourist and Convention Commission shall be composed of seven (7) members to be appointed by the Mayor in the following manner:
      (1)   Two (2) commissioners from a list submitted by the local city motel and hotel association.
      (2)   One (1) commissioner from a list submitted by the local county hotel and motel association, provided that if only one (1) local hotel and motel association exists which covers both the City of Ashland and Boyd County, then three (3) commissioners shall be appointed from a list submitted by it. If no formal local city or county hotel and motel association is in existence upon the establishment of the Commission or upon the expiration of the term of a commissioner appointed pursuant to this section, then up to three (3) commissioners shall be appointed by the Mayor from persons residing within the City of Ashland and representing local hotels or motels. A local city or county hotel and motel association shall not be required to be affiliated with the Kentucky Hotel and Motel Association to be recognized as the official local city or county hotel and motel association.
      (3)   One (1) commissioner from a list submitted by the local restaurant association or associates. If no formal local restaurant association or associations exist upon the establishment of a commission or upon the expiration of the term of a commissioner appointed pursuant to this section, then one (1) commissioner shall be appointed by the Mayor from persons residing within the City of Ashland and representing a local restaurant. A local restaurant association or associations shall not be required to be affiliated with the Kentucky Restaurant Association to be recognized as the official local restaurant association or associations.
      (4)   One (1) commissioner from a list submitted by the Ashland Alliance (the local Chamber of Commerce). If no local chamber of commerce is in existence upon the establishment of a commission or upon the expiration of the term of a commissioner appointed pursuant to this section, then one (1) commissioner shall be appointed by the Mayor from persons residing within the City of Ashland and representing local businesses.
      (5)   Two (2) commissioners by the Mayor.
   (C)   The Commissioners appointed individually by the Mayor shall, pursuant to division (B)(5) hereof, each have an initial term of three (3) years. The Commissioner appointed from nominees submitted by the Ashland Alliance (the local Chamber of Commerce) and from a list of nominees submitted by the local restaurant association shall each have an initial term of two (2) years. The remaining commissioners shall be appointed for an initial term of one year. All subsequent terms of all commissioners shall be for a term of three (3) years.
   (D)   Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner that original appointments are made.
   (E)   The Commission shall elect from its membership a chairman and a treasurer and may employ such personnel and make such contracts as are necessary to effectively carry out the purpose of KRS 91A.350 to 91A.390. The Commission may employ an Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer. Any Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer so employed shall be a resident of Ashland, Kentucky, or become a resident of Ashland, Kentucky within ninety (90) days of employment, and shall maintain residency in Ashland, Kentucky for the duration of his or her employment. Contracts may include but shall not be limited to the procurement of promotional services, advertising services and other services and materials relating to the promotion of tourist and convention business; provided, contracts of the type enumerated shall be made only with persons, organizations, and firms with experience and qualifications for providing promotional services and materials such as advertising firms, chambers of commerce, publishers and printers.
   (F)   The books of the Commission shall be audited by an independent auditor who shall make a report to the Commission, to the organizations submitting names from which Commission members are selected, to the Mayor and Board of Commissioners of the city not less than annually.
   (G)   The Commission shall annually submit to the Board of City Commissioners a request for funds for the operation of the Commission for the ensuing year. The Board of City Commissioners shall include the Commission in its annual budget and shall provide for the operation of the Commission by imposing a transient room tax, not to exceed three percent (3%) of the rent for every occupancy of a suite, room or rooms, charged by all persons, companies, corporations or other like or similar persons, groups or organizations doing business as motor courts, motels, hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, Airbnb or like or similar accommodations businesses.
   (H)   A transient room tax of three percent (3%) is hereby imposed and levied on the rate, rent or other charge for every occupancy of a suite, room or rooms, let or rented by any and all persons, companies, corporations or other like or similar persons, groups or organizations doing business as motor courts, motels, hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, Airbnb or like or similar accommodations businesses in the city. Transient room taxes shall not apply to the rental or leasing of an apartment supplied by an individual or business that regularly holds itself out as exclusively providing apartments. Apartment means a room or set of rooms, in an apartment building, fitted especially with a kitchen and usually leased as a dwelling for a minimum period of thirty (30) days or more.
   (I)   Provisions for administration of the transient room tax:
      (1)   All persons, companies, corporations or other like or similar persons, groups, or organizations doing business as motor courts, motels, hotels, inns or like or similar accommodations businesses in the city shall file a monthly return with the license fee administrator for the city, by the 20th day of the following month. If the 20th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, the report shall be due by the next regular working day. Payment of the tax shall accompany the return.
      (2)   The tax on motels and hotels within the city shall be made payable to the City of Ashland Cashier.
      (3)   A certified copy of the sales and use tax return shall be attached to the monthly return.
      (4)   A collection fee in the amount of three percent (3%) of the first $1,000.00 and two and one-quarter percent (2¼%) of the tax in excess of $1,000.00 will be retained by the city on its respective collections.
      (5)   A penalty of ten percent (10%) will be assessed on any unpaid tax which is not paid by the due date.
      (6)   Interest computed at the legal rate on judgments in the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall be assessed on any unpaid tax which is not paid by the due date.
      (7)   It will be the responsibility of the taxpayer to maintain books, records and papers in support of all amounts reported on the monthly return.
      (8)   Any taxpayer who fails to keep books, records and papers will be assessed a penalty not exceeding ten dollars ($10.00) for each day such taxpayer fails to maintain books, records and papers.
      (9)   The city will be permitted to examine the books, records and papers of the taxpayer upon notification in writing to the taxpayer.
      (10)   Any taxpayer who shall refuse to permit the City of Ashland or any authorized agent of the city to examine the books, records and papers of the taxpayer will be assessed a penalty not exceeding ten dollars ($10.00) for each day the taxpayer fails to permit examination of any books, records and papers.
   (J)   A portion of the money collected from the imposition of any such transient room tax, as determined by the Board of City Commissioners, may be used to finance the cost of acquisition, construction, operation and maintenance of facilities useful in the attraction and promotion of tourist and convention business and shall include athletic stadiums. The balance of the money collected from the imposition of any such transient room tax shall be used for the purposes set forth in KRS 91A.350. Proceeds from any such transient room tax may not be used to provide a subsidy in any form to any hotel, motel or restaurant. Money not expended by the Commission during any fiscal year shall be used to make up a part of the Commission's budget for its next fiscal year.
   (K)   All persons, companies, corporations or other like or similar persons, groups or organizations doing business as motor courts, motels, hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, Airbnb or like or similar accommodations businesses shall collect and pay said transient room tax to the City of Ashland, Kentucky.
   (L)   Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a violation and shall be punished by a fine not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than any stated amount provided in KRS 534.040.
(Ord. 112, 2019, passed 8-8-19)