HB 3402

84(R) - 2015
House Economic & Small Business Development
House Economic & Small Business Development
Economic Development
Major Events Trust Fund
Special Districts

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Wayne Smith

Bill Caption

Relating to the authorization of a venue district to act as an endorsing entity to attract games, events and related activities.

Fiscal Notes

A fiscal note dated April 30, 2015 indicates that depending on the number and size of events that would become eligible, there would be an indeterminate fiscal impact to the state.

Bill Analysis

House Bill 3402 would amend Chapter 335 of the Local Government Code related to sports and community venue districts to allow that a venue district located in a county with a population of 3.3 million or more may act, and have the same powers as an endorsing municipality or endorsing county under Chapter 1507, Acts of the 76th Legislature, Regular Session, 1999 (Article 5190.14, Vernon ’s Texas Civil Statutes), related to the different events trust funds.

The comptroller would have to determine the incremental increase in receipts attributable to the games or event and related activities based on the amount of applicable taxes imposed by each municipality or county that comprises the venue district and not on the amount of taxes imposed by the venue district.

A venue district would be able to guarantee the district’s obligations under a games or event support contract by pledging surcharges from user fees, including parking or ticket fees, charged in connection with the
games or event and related activities.

Vote Recommendation Notes

5/23/15 update:

No amendments have been introduced on the House floor and no changes have been made to the bill in Senate committee. We continue to remain neutral.

The second chamber sponsors is Senator Rodney Ellis.

First chamber recommendation:

According to the statement of purpose for House Bill 3402, this bill tries to streamline the paperwork process in cases when a city and a county, both part of the same venue district, are parties to an event under the events trust fund programs and the paperwork necessary in that case needs to be duplicated.

As is, the bill would currently only apply to Harris County, which is the only one to fit the definition in the bill of the venue district as located in a county with a population of more than 3.3 million. Nevertheless, House Bill 3402 would still extend the authority and power of municipalities and counties in such a case to a venue district. Once in statutes, other venue districts would potentially seek to have this authority extended to them, too, which would increase the scope of government.

We do not think that this is the role of government to encourage economic development by subsidizing municipalities and counties, and hence venue districts, to attract events. But because this bill, as is, would not fundamentally change the way these programs work, we will remain neutral on House Bill 3402.