Economic Development Law Section 164
Applications for and approval of matching funds to tourist promotion agencies
(a)The commissioner is hereby authorized to match funds expended by recognized tourist promotion agencies and to set reasonable deadlines for the submission of applications for each fiscal year covered by appropriations in order to assist such agencies in the financing of their recognized advertising programs. Before any such funds may be expended, the tourist promotion agency shall have made application to the department for such funds, and shall have therein set forth the schedule, budget, scope, and theme of the proposed advertising program to be undertaken for the purpose of encouraging and stimulating tourist travel, resort, vacation, culture and convention activities in the county or counties within its area. Said application shall further state, under oath or affirmation, with evidence thereof satisfactory to the department, the amount of funds held by, or committed or subscribed to, the tourist promotion agency for the purposes herein described and the amount of matching funds for which application is made, and provided that all advertising purchased with funds appropriated under this act shall follow central conceptual themes used by the department in its advertising for state tourism promotion including using any logotype or similar advertising construct in use by the department.
(b)In reviewing such applications, the commissioner may select from among competing or overlapping applications the application or applications that the commissioner considers to be of greater benefit to a given area and the welfare of the people of the state. Further, the commissioner shall select from among filed applications those applications which the commissioner considers to be most in accord with the guidelines established for the fiscal year in which the funds are to be expended. If the commissioner determines that an application does not meet the guidelines, the tourist promotion agency submitting such shall be notified of its rejection and the reasons therefor by certified mail. A tourist promotion agency whose application has been rejected may resubmit the application to meet the guidelines determined by the commissioner. The resubmitted application shall be postmarked within two weeks of the date of receipt of notice of failure of its initial application. After review of a submitted or resubmitted application, if satisfied that the program of the tourist promotion agency appears to be in accord with the purposes of this act, the commissioner shall authorize in writing the payment of matching funds appropriated pursuant to this act to such tourist promotion agency equal to funds allocated by such agency to the program described in its application, provided, however, that such matching grant shall not exceed an amount equal to five per centum of the matching grant appropriation for each county represented by such agency for the purposes set forth in this act. Provided that sufficient funds are appropriated, no such grant shall be less than either twenty thousand dollars per county represented by such tourist promotion agency or the amount of funds held by, or committed or subscribed to such tourist promotion agency for the purposes described in its application, whichever sum is less. No such minimum grant shall allow the awarding of matching funds for applications other than those meeting the guidelines established by the department.
(c)No application submitted by a tourist promotion agency shall be approved unless the funds of such agency allocated to the program described in its application are both:
(1)equal to or greater than eight thousand dollars for each county represented by such agency, and
(2)equal to or less than five per centum of the total matching funds appropriation for each county represented by such tourist promotion agency.
(d)No state funds granted to a tourist promotion agency pursuant to this act may be used for travel, food, lodging, entertainment, transportation or expenses unrelated to the approved advertising program. A regional advertising program as described in paragraph one of subdivision (c) of § 162 (Definitions)section one hundred sixty-two of this article may include those personal service administrative expenses actually attributable to such program, provided, however, that such expenses shall not exceed twenty percent of the total budget of such regional advertising program and provided further that such expenses shall be approved by no less than one-half of the counties within such region.
(e)Applications required by this section shall be submitted only upon forms provided by the department. Such forms shall contain a statement of the guidelines which the commissioner shall use to establish priorities among applications. Such guidelines shall be established by the commissioner on an annual basis and, once established, shall not be changed until the following year.
(f)The department shall set aside no more than thirty percent of the total local assistance appropriation for tourism matching funds to create regional advertising program bonuses payable to tourist promotion agencies. Such bonus shall be based on a formula to be developed by the department, which shall take into account the number of counties participating in a regional advertising program with respect to the number of counties within the department tourism region in which that tourist promotion agency is located and the percentage of which qualify for a match pursuant to this section to be expended by the tourist promotion agency for the purposes of the regional advertising program. Bonuses paid for regional advertising shall be subject to the same restrictions described in this article for matching funds, and shall further be dedicated to the sole purposes of the regional advertising program. The bonus paid to each tourist promotion agency shall not exceed twenty percent of the amount budgeted by such agency for each regional advertising program. Nothing in this article shall prohibit a tourist promotion agency from receiving regional bonus funding for participation in regional advertising programs as described in paragraph two of subdivision (c) of § 162 (Definitions)section one hundred sixty-two of this article in addition to funding for participation in a regional advertising program as described in paragraph one of subdivision (c) of § 162 (Definitions)section one hundred sixty-two of this article.
(g)If the matching funds requested in the applications exceed the appropriation, the commissioner shall allocate available funds on a prorated basis. Such proration shall apply to originally approved as well as resubmitted and subsequently approved applications.
Section 164 — Applications for and approval of matching funds to tourist promotion agencies,
https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/COM/164 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).