Lake Concert Series Shouldn’t Be Eligible For Bed Tax Money

There was apparently some confusion in May when the Chautauqua County Legislature over which pot of occupancy tax funding the county was giving the Chautauqua Lake Pops By The Shore concert series a $10,000 check.

On Wednesday, the legislature will have another resolution on its agenda to correct its previous mistake.

Perhaps they should reconsider the sending a check in the first place.

The Chautauqua Lake Pops are the Bemus Bay Pops, an organization which received its share of Chautauqua County occupancy tax funding during its history in Bemus Point. Other than the location, what’s changed? The entertainment series is still run by the same man and still provides the same type of entertainment. The only difference is that instead of being located next to a restaurant in Bemus Point, the Chautauqua Lake Pops By The Shore is located across the street from a restaurant in Mayville.

A search through the archives refreshes our memory that the Bemus Bay Pops was the subject of a kerfuffle almost a decade ago when it was realized that the application for bed tax money stipulated an organization could only receive bed tax money for three years, while the Bemus Bay Pops had received funding for five years. When the mistake was discovered in 2011, the county cleared up the county’s bed tax law to clearly state that organizations are not eligible for bed tax funding for more than three years.

That was the reason Legislator Jay Gould voted against the original allocation in May, saying, “I don’t believe in — because something moved that you’re going to give it money for more than three years as our rules say.”

Gould is right.

The Chautauqua Lake Pops by the Shore is not a different event. It is the same event in a new location and shouldn’t be eligible for bed tax funding under the county’s formula. Judging from the allocations from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative Fund for Downtown Programming in Jamestown, there are plenty of events looking for seed money.

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