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That’s a lot of Cultural Art

Friday, September 9, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

In keeping with reporting the things we learn from reading through City Council’s budget questions, the Austin Monitor found a question about the city’s Cultural Arts Fund (posed by Council Member Leslie Pool) quite interesting. In 1999, the city approved an ordinance establishing that a certain percentage of the Hotel Occupancy Tax – the maximum allowed under state law – go into the fund. Though that percentage has remained consistent, the amount going into the fund has increased in line with the amount of HOT tax collected (which is to say: dramatically). When the ordinance was approved, about $2.8 million was put into the fund. Sixteen years later, in 2015, almost $9.3 million went into the Cultural Arts Fund. (For a better benchmark, that’s just about double the $4.6 million put into the fund in 2010.)

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