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Summary: HB 3042 would allow barrier island municipalities within 30 miles of the United States of Mexico to keep a greater proportion of the state hotel occupancy tax revenue they generate than other barrier island municipalities throughout Texas. Currently, the state allows municipalities to keep a set proportion of the hotel occupancy tax revenue they generate. HB 3042’s goal is to increase the amount of money municipalities near Mexico, such as South Padre Island, get to keep to clean and maintain erosion on their public beaches.
Analysis: HB 3042 is effectively an earmark that provides some municipalities a greater proportion of money than others. These municipalities near Mexico should not be able keep more hotel occupancy tax revenue than other counties. Moreover, as these places grow and draw more tourists, the number of hotels will grow and the amount of revenue the municipalities get to keep from the hotel occupancy tax will grow proportionally. We do not support HB 3042 because it is an earmark that gives special treatment to certain counties.