AFTER it was shot down by the state's revenue-raising watchdog, the thorny issue of an events levy has cropped up again.
Austin Tourist Park manager Alison Edwards brought the idea to the attention of Tamworth's business community on Thursday, in the wake of COVID-19 and the subsequent blow dealt by the loss of the country music festival.
"We lost $100,000 this year because we didn't have country music, so we have to pick that up in events everywhere else," Ms Edwards said.
"It would have taken some of the sting out of what had happened.
"The events levy is important, are we going to put it back on the table? Let's do something for the town."
The events levy was introduced by Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) to fund an event attraction strategy and create more opportunities for the region to host.
It was rejected by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) in May 2019, when it determined the community wasn't sufficiently aware of the rate rise and its impacts.
The increase was to be levied on business ratepayers at 2.7 per cent in the first year, and 4.5 per cent from 2020 to 2023.
The previous attempt didn't have community support, and that's where the business sector comes in, TRC mayor Col Murray said at the Tamworth Business Chamber (TBC) State of the City address.
"When we try and bring initiatives like that to the city, it's not just about the council rolling its sleeves up and doing the heavy lifting," he said.
"It's something we need to consider in the future, but it's not on our books at the moment - the need is still there and it's been exemplified with the loss of the festival.
"We should be having major events in our city to fill us up every other weekend and that's what needs to be done."
Tamworth Country Music Festival is estimated to bring $50 million into the local economy, according to TRC estimates.
Next time the council needs to be able to demonstrate the events levy is a community-driven initiative, general manager Paul Bennett said.
"Passionate people need to be telling the council they really do want this," he said.
"Maybe we have to re-badge it or have a different management mechanism around it to give people comfort that it's not going to be a money grab spent on other things," he said.
"It's not just about event businesses, accommodation providers or restaurants, it's about everybody.
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