Tennessee is rich in waterways and water recreation has a significant economic impact on both local and state economies. The legislature once again provided $500,000 for marina grants to help promote tourism and enhance the visitor experience. Applications are due by 4 p.m. CST on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
General Eligibility Requirements
Who is Eligible: A marina is eligible to apply for the WATR Program if it is located in the state of Tennessee, is a business entity registered with the Tennessee Secretary of State and remits an annual payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) as well as a property tax assessment through the county which the marina is located. In order to prove eligibility, the marina must provide evidence of registration with the Tennessee Secretary of State, proof of payment of both PILOT and property tax assessment for the county the marina is located in the previous calendar year unless exempt ( see below). Types of proof allowed are set out in Program Policy.
Amount of Award: Eligible Marinas with approved projects will be awarded up to one-third (1/3) of the total previous years’ payment in lieu of tax (“PILOT”) and property taxes assessed by the county the marina is located.
Proof of Payment Requirement: The marina must provide evidence of registration with the Tennessee Secretary of State, proof of payment of both PILOT and property tax assessment for the county the marina is located in the previous calendar year. The Eligible Marina, shall utilize grant funds to reimburse the approved project submitted in connection with Grantee’s application.
NEW: All supporting documents (vendor invoices and proof of payment to vendors for project, are due with application).
Proof of Payment Requirement Exception: If an otherwise Eligible Marina has not remitted the PILOT and local county tax on the basis of waiver due to low water levels or other exemption as deemed by the PILOT-enforcing agency, the Eligible Marina may still be considered as eligible, if proof of payment for the year prior to the waiver taking place is submitted.
Post Approval Reporting: Grantees must submit a report within six (6) months of the receipt of funding to the Department’s Legislative Liaison and Program Development team member. The report shall include metrics to describe the Approved Project’s visitor engagement, for example, revenue generated from an additional boat slip or repeat guests after a restaurant build.