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No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would amend
Chapter 351 of the Tax Code, regarding municipal hotel occupancy taxes. The bill would add Section 351.1071, regarding the allocation of revenue in
certain municipalities, that would apply only to a municipality with a population
of not more than 5,000 and located less than one-eighth of one mile from a
space center operated by an agency of the federal government.
An applicable municipality would be authorized to use 3 percent of the 7 percent municipal hotel tax to 1) establish, acquire, purchase, construct, improve, maintain, or operate an authorized facility; and 2) pay bonds issued to establish, acquire, purchase, construct, improve, maintain, or operate an authorized facility. The total amount of municipal hotel tax used on an authorized facility could not exceed the amount of revenue from that tax attributable to events at the facility over the 15-year period after the completion of construction, and the bill would provide procedures to determine if that requirement was met.
Local Government Impact
Under the provisions of the bill, the city of Nassau Bay would qualify, based on that city's U.S. Census Bureau city population count in the 2010 census and its proximity to NASA's Johnson Space Center. The bill would have no revenue implications; it would, however, affect how a Nassau Bay uses revenue collected from the municipal hotel occupancy tax.
HB 1585 would allow certain municipalities to use revenue from the hotel occupancy tax for promotional expenses related to a sporting event in which most of the participants are tourists who increase the amount of business at the hotels within the municipality. The fiscal note above provides a more detailed explanation of what this bill would do.
We oppose HB 1585 because it is not the proper role of government to help promote tourism and increase business for a certain sector of the economy.
The role of a limited government is not to grow tourism or to subsidize certain events at the expense of others with taxpayer money. If municipalities want to see more tourists come and visit, the repeal of the municipal hotel occupancy tax would encourage individuals to stay longer in hotels and to spend more of their money -- that would have otherwise been paid in taxes -- within the local economy, and in tourism events and activities. Such a situation would benefit tourists, municipalities and their communities and would also favor a limited government and the free market system.
HB 1585 curtails our free market principle and limited government principle, therefore we oppose this legislation.
The Senate chamber sponsor is Larry Taylor.