Lodging Taxes; Council Apprives Transportation System Plan; Burn Ban Lifted

Lodging Taxes

Andy Vobora heads Travel Lane County and last night at the Florence City Council meeting he gave their annual report.  Vobora says that while we had a robust summer of 2022, changes in the collection and reporting of Transient Lodging Taxes has slowed the way the county has received and distributed those taxes to cities across the county.  Vobora says the City of Eugene stopped being the caretaker of the monies during the fourth quarter of 2022 and the responsibility was then contracted to the Oregon Department of Revenue.  The DOR collects taxes on a quarterly basis and monthly payments came to an end in October of last year.

“We, along with everybody else that was getting lodging tax, stopped getting any revenue in October 2022 because that quarter ended in December and then taxpayers had until January, February to remit those taxes to the state.”

Vobora says in addition to delayed payments came delayed reporting of the data.  He says now, in October of 2023, he believes that they are still waiting for data and dollars to close out the fiscal year which ended July 1st.  Fortunately Travel Lane County had money in reserve.

“Otherwise we would not have been able to continue because the state is so far behind in remitting those taxes to us.”

The money is expected to arrive at some point in the near future and he added that tourism continues to abound in the region.

Council Apprives Transportation System Plan

The Florence City Council approved Ordinance no. 7 series 2023 which encompasses the Transportation System Plan update they have been working on over the past 18 months.  It was approved unanimously.  The ordinance includes amendments to the Florence Realization 2020 Comprehensive plan, Florence City Code Title 10 and implements the TSP.  The city will now move forward with the updated plan as it pertains to all modes of transportation within the city including the airport, public and private transportation, biking, walking and other aspects that effect transportation.

Burn Ban Lifted

The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency officially ended the summer burn ban for the county on Sunday.  Wetter weather and cooler temperatures made the decision possible.  Burning is now allowed for the region between the hours of 9am until 5pm daily.  Of course the exception is burning within the city limits which is at no time allowed. Permitted burning includes recreational fire, construction or demolition burning and residential outdoor burning. Travis Knudsen with LRAPA reminds us that fires of any kind require a burn permit authorized by the local fire agency which in Florence is Western Lane Fire and EMS Authority.