County to Mayor: Show how Harrisburg spends hotel tax revenue

Dauphin County officials are urging Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse to exercise patience when speaking publicly about the National Civil War Museum.

Papenfuse said Wednesday that a marketing report provided by the museum shows it spends 66 percent of its funding from hotel tax revenues on salaries, with only 15 percent of the funds going to marketing.

Chad Saylor, chief clerk of Dauphin County, said the city should do the same.

Saylor said the county is taking the mayor’s request to investigate the contract with the museum very seriously and attorneys are reviewing its legality as well as how the museum uses its funds.

He added that he is concerned by Papenfuse’s public push to sever ties with the museum, and he said the mayor has left out how the city has spent its share of hotel tax revenue.

“Since 2011, more than $2.5 million has gone directly to the city,” Saylor said. “City Council has spent those dollars, but we don’t know on what.”

Saylor said all funding streams will be vetted, including the city.

He said museum leaders will be invited to make a formal presentation to county commissioners in the coming weeks.

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