HOT tax not enough for $50 million Lubbock County Expo Center

Uncertainty for Lubbock Expo Center

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock County officials say the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) may only be able to support a less than $25 million bond. That means the $50 million Lubbock County Expo Center that was expected to be completed by 2021 may not be - unless the rest of the money is raised through private funds, or a smaller facility is built instead.

Randy Jordan, the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Lubbock County Expo Center, says when the proposition was passed, the approval from voters created an income stream. They had to wait on the comptroller of the currency and the county’s financial advisors to provide information about their estimates and what the revenue was going to be. Now that those numbers are in, they’re seeing they overestimated the revenues they were expecting to get from the hotel occupancy tax.

In August 2018, Lubbock County Commissioners voted to put this special election on the ballot. The proposal included a two percent hike on the city’s hotel occupancy tax and up to a five percent tax increase on rental cars to pay for the dirt floor arena.

The original expectation was the $50 million project could be supported by a 30-year bond.

On November 6, 2018, Lubbock County voters approved Proposition A to build the arena.

Since voters elected to abandon the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium and Coliseum, the Lubbock County Expo Center would host horse shows, equipment shows, professional rodeos, competitive livestock events, concerts, truck pulls, conferences, meetings and more.

The Lubbock Municipal Auditorium is slated for demolition this year.

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