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County commissioners hope to stop hotel tax increase

Thursday, August 8, 2019 by Jack Craver

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and the other four members of the Commissioners Court will be at City Hall today in the hopes of discouraging Council from approving a 2 percent increase in the Hotel Occupancy Tax. If Council approves the increase in order to fund an expansion of the convention center, total hotel taxes will reach 17 percent, the maximum allowed under state law. That would prevent the county from pursuing plans to build a new expo center in eastern Travis County by levying a separate 2 percent hotel tax (called a venue tax). Unfortunately for the county, the state’s complex law on hotel taxes allows Council to implement its tax immediately, while the county can only do so with voter approval. In a statement Wednesday, Eckhardt expressed hope that Council members will at least debate the issue before approving it. “All of us on the Commissioners Court have reached out to Council members on the Expo Center, Hotel Occupancy Tax, Palm School and various other possibilities that would serve our mutual interests without much success to date. Meeting the City Council in its voting session is our next best opportunity,” she said.

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