Recently passed legislation could help Kyle not only boost tourism, but potentially incentivize development of a hotel and convention center.
House Bill (HB 4347), authored by State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas), would allow certain municipalities to redistribute money collected via Hotel Occupancy Taxes (HOT) to subsidize hotel and convention center projects and other qualified projects. The bill, which was cosponsored by more than 60 state legislators, was approved by the Texas House and Senate May 21. The bill was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott May 26. Abbott had until June 6 to either sign the bill, veto it or allow its passage by taking no action.
In May, Kyle City Council and Hays County each approved resolutions in support of legislation seeking to redistribute money collected from Hotel Occupancy Taxes back to cities looking to subsidize more tourism projects.
HOT is an amount levied on guests who rent a room or a space in a hotel or motel. The state levies a 6% HOT on guests who rent a room costing $15 or more per day. Local municipalities can also charge a HOT on rooms costing $2 or more per day.
Currently, Kyle collects approximately 6% in HOT. Those who stay at a hotel in Kyle are charged a HOT of 12%. Cities that collect HOT are allowed to use revenue for tourism-related purposes, in order to put “heads in beds.” Kyle City Manager Scott Sellers said HOT collected by Kyle currently goes for its Pie in the Sky event and to pay the salary of the city’s Events Coordinator.
With the addition of the new legislation, the city can now retain more funding to pay for other projects.
Kyle has plans for a 100-acre resort within the 6 Creeks Public Improvement District (PID) in a planned subdivision called Waterridge. Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell said the city is hoping to attract contractors with incentives that would come from HOT revenue.
“That certainly isn’t our only project,” Mitchell said. “We’ll be able to offer incentives to other hotels and convention centers moving to the area as well.”
Albert Cortez, a managing partner for Waterridge, helped lobby for the passage of HB 4347. Cortez said he intends to promote the resort at Waterridge and believes the city’s ability to put forth funding will help.
According to HB 4347, the city will be allowed to put the revenue toward the ancillary needs of a hotel or convention center. Those include parking, plumbing, sewer and water utilities.
Funding could also go toward promoting retail and restaurant establishments near the hotel or convention center.