Lack of hotel tax base causes budget cuts for popular Sherman programs

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SHERMAN, TEXAS -- A $100,000 hotel tax base deficit is causing the city of Sherman to cut 35 percent of the budget that funds the Sherman Council for the Arts and Humanities (SCAH), The Sherman Museum, and events, like Lights on the Lake and Hot Summer Nights.

SCAH President Larry Wall says he was concerned until an anonymous donation came in for $36,000, the amount they typically receive from the city.

"We will not have to even use any hotel/motel tax money. There is now a new donor base; we do have a lot of big, strong supporters," Wall said.

Wall says SCAH can now survive without city funding, but he's worried about the viability of The Sherman Museum, Lights on the Lake and Hot Summer Nights that rely on city support.

"There's some organizations that live only on hotel/motel tax money and they would not survive with much of a cut at all," Wall said.

Wall says he understands that the city needs to make cuts, but adds that if they did more to boost the hotel/motel tax base, this might not be an issue.

"There's been a real drop, maybe not just this year, but I mean leading up to it, in the availability of hotel/motel tax funds. It's a concern, not just for SCAH, and the organizations that make up SCAH (there's 11 of them in the city), but it's for I think everyone that gets those funds," Wall said.

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