You may have heard Lubbock is in need of new youth soccer fields. And we know Lubbock voters may not be overly supportive of spending $11 million to build them.
We also know that soccer and youth sports are very popular and could be a gold mine for tourism in Lubbock. So these facts raise one paramount question to me: How do you get good soccer facilities without raising taxes?
And that is the question that our city leaders should be asking first. The easy thing to do is to spend money that is not yours. The hard thing to do is to exhaust every possible resource before asking citizens to fork over their hard-earned money.
Now I don't want to be accused of presenting a problem without offering ideas, so consider this: hotel/motel taxes are paid by visitors and tourists but cannot be used for new soccer fields.
First, I think that the state law should be seriously questioned and be put on Lubbock's priorities for state legislation. Texas communities should be allowed to invest tourism dollars back into tourism drivers, like new soccer fields.
Secondly, I know hotel/motel tax money can absolutely be used to renovate existing soccer fields, so why not fix the Berl Huffman Complex? There's a lot that can be done through renovations and that wouldn't cost you and me any new taxes.
Sure, brand new fields for all youth sports would be nice, but I think voters may not be interested in paying for them with new taxes. So I believe it is the obligation of our elected officials to come up with other options, like the one I suggested, before asking us to write another check.
I like what Robert Kennedy was once quoted as saying when dealing with a challenge, "If there is not a solution, it's because one hasn't occurred to us yet."
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