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Currently only Dallas is authorized to use these public improvement districts. SB 837 would expand the use of public improvement districts to Austin, Arlington, and San Antonio. The goal of these districts is to attract and increase tourism through the pooling of money, based on hotel occupancy, to improve the aesthetics of the city.
Private businesses seeking to increase tourism to benefit their profits are free to form their own voluntary associations to achieve this end. Any issues arising from businesses not wishing to participate or carry their fair share is a problem that the market can handle without municipal intervention. Therefore, creating public improvement districts is an unnecessary expansion of local government that would interfere with the free market. We do not support this legislation.