How the Chamber is Funded
The Chamber of Commerce is funded by membership dues, fundraising events and Transient Occupancy Taxes that are collected by the Town for the Chamber pursuant to a 1989 ballot measure. Further explanation of this ballot measure is in the following letter from the Chamber to the Town sent in connection with our 2010 proposed budget. Following this Chamber letter is a letter recently received from the Corte Madera Lions Club, a long time Chamber member.
Letter to Corte Madera Mayor and Town Council
Re: Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce 2010 Budget
In anticipation of your receipt and review of the 2010 Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce annual budget, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you the work and accomplishments of our Chamber as well as some historical information that you may find of interest.
The Mission Statement of the Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce is:
To provide a leadership role for economic and community development in the Town of Corte Madera. To support and represent the well being of the business community and to promote cultural, educational and economic health of the entire community.
The Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce offers its members opportunities where they are able to broaden their business contacts, network with a broad range of community leaders, and to invest in community improvements which strengthen the market where they do business. Through Chamber involvement, many businesses as well as residents become more aware and active in Town issues.
Each year the Chamber organizes several events including mixers and luncheons. These events take place in Corte Madera as well as neighboring communities allowing enhanced contact with our neighbors.
We hold our annual golf tournament, along with the San Anselmo Chamber, arrange for ribbon cuttings that we frequently hold for new businesses in Town, publish a bimonthly newsletter containing articles about our businesses, the community and Town government, maintain a website, publish the Corte Madera map, as well as sponsoring community activities such as Twin Cities Shuttle, candidates night, events with Park and Recreation Department, Spirit of Marin Awards, Toys for Tots, disaster preparedness, etc.
We are especially proud of our annual Twin Cities Independence Day Parade and celebration in Town Park. This event brings tremendous enjoyment and prestige to our community and is something we are all very proud of.
The Chamber and the Town of Corte Madera have always held a unique and mutually rewarding relationship.
On November 7, 1989, the voters of the Town of Corte Madera approved Ballot Measure E increasing the Town's hotel/motel transient occupancy tax, TOT, from eight percent to ten percent by a two thirds majority vote of the voters; requiring that twenty percent of the TOT collected by the Town be allocated to the Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce.
The purposes for which the Chamber may use the TOT funds allocated to it by the Town shall be as follows: expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the 4th of July celebrations, expenses incurred by the Chamber in connection witht the 4th of July celebrations; the Chamber's office space rental and the operation overhead; the publishing, printing and distribution of historical and promotional brochures pertaining to the Town; and such additional items as may be specified from time to time, by the Council in future resolutions. Each of the above expenditures and items are to receive priority and the order in which such expenditures and items are to receive priority and the order in which such expenditures and items are to be performed shall be determined on an annual basis through the Council's approval of the Chamber's annual budget as described herein below. It is envisioned by the Council at this time that the highest priority of the Chamber's use of the TOT funds allocated to it by the Town shall be the annual 4th of July celebration, if such celebration is approved by the Town. In other words, it is clearly understood by the Council that if the 4th of July celebration is approved, the Chamber shall take the lead and provide the leadership in organizing, arranging, managing, and supervising the event in all its respects and aspects and it is the Chamber's costs (as well as the Town's) incurred in connection with its activities undertaken in performance of these duties that the TOT funds allocated pursuant herewith shall be expended. The Chamber shall exercise due diligence and good faith in every aspect of its performance of its leadership role in connection with the 4th of July celebration so as to assure that the celebration is run in a smooth, efficient and safe manner, as much as is practical.
We hope that you are in agreement that the Chamber has been responsible and consientious in our handling of the 4th of July celebration, as well as the numerous other ways that we have supported and enhanced our community. We are available to address any additional questions or concerns that you may have, and will attend the upcoming Council meeting.
We look forward to our continued mutually rewarding relationship.
Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce
Board of Directors
Letter from Corte Madera Lions Club
March 4, 2010
Town Manager, Corte Madera
While putting together the Crab Feed and soliciting donations I talked with a number of merchants and business owners who were concerned about the economy and their place in Corte Madera. There is apparently some residual ill will related to the passage of Measure B which impacted our businesses to a greater extent than the residents. Several of them also felt pressure from ardent school bond measure supporters to the point that they felt they could not voice any legitimate concerns over the bond measure in public. While I ultimately supported Measure B I had a number of concerns and misgivings about how are businesses would be impacted relative to other businesses in communities not subject to this type of tax. In short I am bringing to your attention something that you are undoubtedly already aware of, that being the business community feels they have taken a big hit for the community. They also feel the playing field is not level and would ultimatley like to see if Measure B could be implemented in a fashion that would be more reasonable. I know this is a difficult problem to address but wanted to let you know the concerns that I found this past month. I believe the council members on the committee which works with the Chamber of Commerce are also aware of their concerns and perhaps some accommodations can be made regarding the way Measure B is implemented or adjusted.
I would also like to say that the Lions Club as a member of the Chamber of Commerce has always had a great working relationship with the other business community as they support many of our events which raise money for the community. We also think Julie Kritzberger is a great asset in coordinating the 4th of July and she is the reason everyone loves the 4th in Corte Madera.