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This is a local bill. Under current law, certain municipalities are allowed to pledge tax revenue from the hotel occupancy tax to pay for bonds related to hotel projects. SB 797 would include the City of Lubbock as a municipality eligible for this action.
Texas Action opposes this bill. SB 729 violates our principles of limited government, free markets, and individual liberty by giving another municipality the power to use hotel tax revenue to pay for certain financial instruments. Due to the nature of the hotel occupancy tax encouraging government spending and subsidizing specific businesses, state legislators should not be giving more municipalities the to ability to use hotel tax funds. The role of a limited government is not to grow tourism or to subsidize certain facilities, at the expense of others, with taxpayer money. Like any city whose concern is to see more tourists come and visit, a better solution would be the repeal of the municipal hotel occupancy tax, which 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. For these reasons, we oppose SB 729.