SCS/HB 1698 - This act establishes the "Meet in Missouri Act". Eligible local convention commissions may submit major convention plans to the director of the Department of Economic Development. If the plans are approved by the director, then a grant shall be paid from the newly created "Major Economic Convention Event in Missouri Fund" to the commission. The commission shall hold such funds until the major convention event has occurred and a required report has been submitted to the Department. Approved grant shall be disbursed from the general revenue fund subject to appropriation by the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall not appropriate more than $3 million per year for any such grants.
A major convention plan shall be approved by the director until certain conditions, as described in the act, are met. These conditions require that the convention event will occur within five years from the application, that the commission is competing for the event against non-Missouri cities, and the economic benefit to the state exceeds the amount of the grant. The amount of any grant shall not exceed 50% of the cost of hosting the event, the positive net fiscal impact to General Revenue, or one million dollars, whichever is less.
At the conclusion of the event, the commission shall issue a report to the director detailing the final amount of convention costs incurred and actual attendance figures. If the final amount of convention costs is less than the amount of the grant, then the act sets forth the amounts that the commission must refund from the grant amount. If the actual attendance is lower than 85% of the projected attendance, the commission will be required to refund a portion of the grant. If the actual attendance is lower than 25% of the projected attendance, the commission will be required to refund the entire grant. A commission will not be required to refund a portion of the grant if low attendance is caused by man-made or other weather related disasters.
Any refunded amounts shall be returned to the fund and used for future grants. This act shall sunset 6 years after enactment unless reauthorized by an act of the General Assembly.
This act is similar to the perfected version of SCS/SB 800 (2016) & HB 1313 (2015).