Agreement in Principle to Increase Local HOT Tax to Help Finance Kyle Field ExpansionFeatured Stories, News Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Those staying at local motels and hotels will be bearing a share of the cost of expanding Kyle Field.
An agreement in principle was announced Wednesday to increase the lodging tax three-quarters of one cent.
One of the things in return is keeping A&M home football games at Kyle Field.
College Station Mayor Nancy Berry says the university will make their facilities available at cost.
Over 30 years, the increase in the hotel occupancy tax will provide at least $36 million dollars towards the more than $400 million dollar project cost.
Hotel owner Hunter Goodwin, the chairman of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the local lodging tax will remain lower than Houston and San Antonio.
Hotel visitors currently see 15% added to their bill, but that would move to 15.75% during the lifetime of the construction debt, estimated at 30 years.
But the County portion is what’s targeted for increasing: from 2% to 2.75%. The city hotel tax rate, in Bryan and College Station, is 7%. And the city hotel tax rate is 6%.
The increase in the lodging tax requires legislative approval, which A&M System Chancellor John Sharp says has the support of State Representative John Raney and State Senator Charles Schwertner.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp opens news conference. Comments also made by College Station Mayor Nancy Berry, Convention & Visitors Bureau Chairman Hunter Goodwin, A&M President Bowen Loftin, and Brazos County Judge Duane Peters.
News release courtesy of the Texas A&M University System:
Chancellor John Sharp and College Station Mayor Nancy Berry today announced an agreement in principle to support the Kyle Field redevelopment project in exchange for the use of Texas A&M University facilities. This will lead to a formal agreement among College Station, Bryan, Brazos County and Texas A&M.
“We are well aware of the economic impact games at Kyle Field bring to the Brazos Valley and have been working diligently with community leaders over the past year to develop a mutually beneficial solution,” said Sharp. “This statement of support ensures that Texas A&M football games can remain at Kyle Field while undergoing construction.”
Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said, “We are grateful to be able to bring this level of collaboration and support from our community to the Kyle Field redevelopment project. Texas A&M is a close partner with our local community, and it has been important to us, from the beginning, to ensure that the Kyle Field renovations do not impair the local economy nor our ongoing operations during the construction process.”
Proposed funding for this pledge would be generated through existing unallocated College Station hotel tax revenue and an additional three-quarter percent countywide hotel tax over the expected 30-year lifetime of Kyle Field’s construction debt for a total $36 million contribution. The combined revenue from these sources is projected to be approximately $1.2 million per year. The countywide hotel tax would expire once the debt retires.
“What we have is an agreement in principle that would generate financial resources to aid the redevelopment of Kyle Field in exchange for the use of facilities such as Reed Arena, Rudder Theatre and the Zone Club,” said Berry. “More destination events mean more people are shopping, dining and staying nights throughout Brazos County. We’re excited about the opportunities that exist for generating more tourism dollars being spent here.”
A study commissioned by the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau and Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce estimated the economic impact of games to be $120 million in incremental direct spending by fans, media, sponsors and teams. With the rising visibility of Texas A&M and success of the 2012 college football season, that estimate is expected to increase. More than $86 million in direct and indirect impacts are expected to be lost if games are moved for a single season.
“We are extremely excited about the potential to attract more tourism to our community through this enhanced access to facilities at Texas A&M,” said Hunter Goodwin, chairman of the Bryan-College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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