Archived News

Clampitt bill would establish TDA for Bryson City

Clampitt bill would establish TDA for Bryson City

A long-simmering feud between city and county governments over TDA revenue will finally be settled, if a bill entered by Rep. Mike Clampitt (R-Swain) can make it through the General Assembly.

“There’s been a real lack of cooperation between Bryson City, Swain County, and the county TDA,” Clampitt said. “There was a lot of friction there between the three groups and the bottom line is, I asked them to work together in the past and they all continued to blame each other.”

According to Clampitt, the Swain County TDA board has never issued any direct payments to Bryson City. 

Clampitt’s bill  would give the Bryson City Board of Aldermen the ability to levy their own 2% occupancy tax above and beyond Swain County’s current 4% levy. If and when that happens, the board would then appoint members to a new joint entity, the Bryson City/Swain County Tourism Development Authority. 

As opposed to the current nine-member board, the new entity would consist of five voting members, including the director of the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, two members appointed by Swain County Commissioners, and two members appointed by the Bryson City Board of Aldermen. Both Swain County and Bryson City would also appoint two more non-voting advisory members as well. 

Per the bill, the new Bryson City/Swain County Tourism Development Authority would segregate the proceeds it receives from Bryson City and the rest of Swain County into two separate accounts. Each account must use at least two-thirds of the proceeds to promote travel and tourism, and the remainder for tourism-related expenditures, in their respective jurisdictions. 

Related Items

“Promoting travel and tourism” in this case means advertising, marketing or engaging in similar types of promotional activities intended to put heads in beds. “Tourism-related” expenditures are “designed to increase the use of lodging facilities, meeting facilities or convention facilities,” according to the bill. The term is understood to include capital expenditures as well.  

Leaders in the Town of Bryson City support the bill, says Clampitt, who calls it a win-win for the county and the city because the county doesn’t have to pony up money for city projects, and city projects will finally get their due. 

Clampitt said that the bill has made it through the House’s local government committee and is currently in the finance committee. With the end of the General Assembly’s short session looming, Clampitt is optimistic the bill will move quickly, but can’t guarantee it will pass. 

If it doesn’t, there’s still a possibility that it could pass in the next session, whether or not Clampitt is there; he faces Transylvania Democrat Al Platt in November’s General Election. The newly-drawn 119th House District contains the whole of Swain, Jackson and Transylvania counties. According to davesredistricting.org , it is 54.5% Republican. 

Swain County Board of Commissioners Chairman Ben Bushyhead did not return a call for comment. 

Leave a comment

4 comments

  • As a former Franklin Mayor, I would encourage Bryson City form a Tourist Development COMMISSION. Not an Authority. An authority basically allows the TDA to do as they please with no oversight from a town council.
    And, the Legislature has far too much influence on how the funds are spent.

    posted by Bob Scott

    Monday, 06/27/2022

  • Who would we contact to voice our objection to this bill? Just because three organizations cannot get along and act like children, should not be the responsibility of the paying tourists nor the lodge keepers.

    posted by Janice Gallagher

    Monday, 06/27/2022

  • Who would we contact to voice our objection to this bill? Just because three organizations cannot get along and act like children, should not be the responsibility of the paying tourists nor the lodge keepers.

    posted by Janice Gallagher

    Monday, 06/27/2022

  • What does TDA stand for?

    posted by Jean

    Monday, 06/27/2022

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.