In case you haven't heard, Lubbock city council has voted to buy property downtown for a visitor's center. The price tag is almost a million dollars in tax money. And that's just for the property; it's not including actual construction.
Now we know they're using what is called hotel/motel tax to pay for the visitor's center. That's money hotels and motels charge visitors to stay in Lubbock and that money can be used for only certain things.
I'll have more on that in a minute, but first let me ask you a question. On the last vacation you took, what did the visitor's center look like? Was it nice? If you're like me, you're probably saying to yourself, "I didn't go to the visitor's center."
The fact is, most people do the research online or elsewhere before they ever get to their destination and have never even been inside a visitor's center. That's why I think spending millions on this is a bad idea.
So consider this, why don't we spend that money for projects already on the city's wish list?
The way I read the document, hotel/motel tax can be used for a variety of things. Like upgrading the coliseum or the Civic Center, upgrading softball fields to attract bigger tournaments, or even building a multi-purpose arena.
All projects that would promote tourism and all projects we just heard Lubbock desperately needs, but city leaders want to tax you more instead of using money they already have. And for what? A visitor's center that you and will probably never step foot in.
Let's be clear, the hotel/motel tax still belongs to the citizens of Lubbock. I, for one, would like a better return on the investment. I suggest we use the hotel/motel tax to offset needed projects and help lower taxes. If the answer is no, I say it's because they don't want to, not because they can't.
But don't take my word for it. If you want to read how your hotel/motel tax can be spent, we have scanned the document and made it available for you to read.
|Read How Your Hotel/Motel Tax Can Be Spent|
§ 351.101. USE OF TAX REVENUE. (a) Revenue from the municipal hotel occupancy tax may be used only to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry, and that use is limited to the following: (1)
Decide for yourself, facilities we would use or a visitor's center we wouldn't use.
I'll be back next week to tell you how I think we could still have both.
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