Nonprofits can apply for Cedar Rapids hotel-motel tax grants

The Veteran's Memorial Building is reflected in the CRST building on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. The American Building is under construction at left. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
The Veteran's Memorial Building is reflected in the CRST building on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. The American Building is under construction at left. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The city of Cedar Rapids is accepting applications for the next three-year cycle — fiscal 2019 through 2021 — of hotel-motel tax grants.

Every three years, nonprofits — focused on a variety of causes such as recreation, culture and education — are selected to receive grants for the following three years.

The deadline for submitting applications is noon April 16. The application is available on the city’s website — cedar-rapids.org, in the city news section of the homepage.

Nonprofits must have 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service. Municipal needs also are funded through the hotel-motel tax.

Grants will be awarded in four categories:

• Primary: For city-owned facilities housing activity that is primarily recreational, cultural, destination marketing or entertainment oriented.

• Community culture and education: For educational, cultural and entertainment-oriented entities that improve the overall quality of life in Cedar Rapids. Applicants must have regular hours open to the public or events open to the public.

• Community recreation and events: For community recreational and event-oriented entities, particularly recreation, annual events or limited time events that impact the quality of life.

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• New and emerging organizations and events: For one-time requests for a new or emerging organization or event. The program or event needs to show uniqueness, fulfill an unmet need or program, and have a positive impact on the quality of life.

In the most recent distribution, the city awarded $1.7 million to 25 nonprofits, including $1 million for the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, or GO Cedar Rapids; $106,632 to the All Iowa Agricultural Association, or Hawkeye Downs; $80,000 to the Freedom Festival; $50,000 to Brucemore; and $25,000 to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Foundation.

The hotel-motel tax ordinance imposes a 7 percent tax on lodging rentals at establishments such as hotels, motels, inns and rooming houses.

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