Correction/Clarification: Kathy Beard misquoted by The Caroline [Lack of] Progress.

Kathy Beard, the Director of Tourism, was [mis]quoted as stating that the county received $1,600,000 in taxes from the transient occupancy tax (TOT) in 2007 by The Caroline Progress.

Gary Wilson’s response to an e-mail seeking a comment about that claim:

Mr. Watson,

Thanks for your questions regarding the impact of the tourism industry in Caroline County.

The report discussed during the meeting reflected the tourism revenue impact dollars in Caroline for 2007. These numbers are supplied by the Virginia Tourism Corporation and have been tracked throughout Virginia for years. These numbers were not presented as any type of county budget indicator, as they only monitor the income produced by the industry within the jurisdiction.

This table reflects the Caroline County section of the report:

County ($ Millions) ($ Millions) (Thousands) ($ Millions) ($ Millions)
2007 (preliminary) State Tax Local Tax
Expenditures Payroll Employment Receipts Receipts
CAROLINE 70.21 9.78 0.56 3.44 1.61

Caroline County collects transient occupancy taxes at a rate of 5% per each lodging occurrence. These are the only funds that support the Tourism program for the county. The local tax receipt figure reported above by the state for 2007 are a combination of lodging, meals, sales, fuel, and several other types of taxes, generated by that activity, not the amount of funds dedicated to the tourism budget in Caroline County.

Again, thank you for your inquiry regarding the tourism impact in Caroline. Although we will certainly see a decline in these revenue numbers due to the slowing economy, we hope tourism in Caroline County will continue to play an important role in new revenue spreading throughout the county.


In English, Director Wilson is stating the Ms. Beard referenced the fact that the Virginia Tourism Corporation estimates the county received $1,6100,000 in taxes from tourism related industries. That would be seen in sales tax, gasoline taxes, and other taxes including TOT.

My follow-up:

Are you stating that Ms. Beard was misquoted by The Caroline Progress?

His response:

Ms. Beard was indeed misquoted.

Did Caroline County lose track of $1,300,000 in tax revenue? Correction/Clarification: Kathy Beard misquoted by The Caroline [Lack of] Progress.

Read the follow up post.

The original post can be read below in its original form:

That, or our astute tourism manager doesn’t know how much money tourism brings into the county (The Caroline Progress):

Kathy Beard, County Director of Tourism, spoke about the role tourism plays in county economics. Beard stated that more than $70 million dollars were spent on tourism related industry in Caroline in 2007, and $1.6 million came back to the county in the form of transient occupancy taxes.

$1,600,000 in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) — that’s the hotel tax for the uninitiated — in 2007?

Let’s see, according to the proposed FY07-08 budget (p. 193), in the second half of the 2007 calendar year, the county only brought in $150,719 in TOT.

Assuming that the county brought in the same amount during the first half of the ’07 calendar year (probably not, but let’s assume), that means a total of $301,438 during the whole calendar year.

So, that leaves three possibilities (I’m leaning towards option #2):

  1. The county “lost” $1,300,000 in tax revenue.
  2. Kathy Beard doesn’t know jack about how much money comes into the county, and decided to claim a figure more than five fold higher than the actual number.
  3. She was misquoted (always a possibilities with The Caroline [Lack of] Progress).

In other funny stuff from the Economic Development Office, you gotta love the fact that the e-mail link to Director Gary Wilson that is on the Economic Development Office’s homepage doesn’t even work.

How bad is it for an Economic Development Office to not even have a functioning e-mail link to the Director?