LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock County Commissioners authorized the start of increased collection for hotel occupancy and car rental taxes on Monday.
The tax increase will fund bonds for the planned Lubbock County Expo Center that was approved by voters in November.
There will be an increase of two percent added to the hotel occupancy tax (HOT) and an additional five percent tax on car rentals. The Lubbock County Tax Assessors Office will start collecting that money starting on July 1. The money will be collected and reported by hotels and short term rentals like Airbnb.
The increase bumps the total HOT amount for Lubbock county to 15 percent, including the city and state tax.
Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish says any time they have to ask taxpayers to take money out of their pockets, four of the five county commissioners have to vote in favor of the increase. “Whether we do that for this particular tax or whether we do it for property tax or whatever reason we do that. We need to make sure that we are doing everything perfectly by the book."
After three months of the collections, the county can meet with financial advisers and bond companies to find out the bond size the revenue stream will support. Once the county starts collecting the tax, they have one year to sell the bonds.
Parrish says they're already making plans. "I’m very confident that things will be in place with by this time next year that we will have those bonds sold, that we will have plans, we will have a site location, we will have groundbreaking. And we will be building a facility by this time next year."
As far as how much money they anticipate collecting, Judge Parrish says there’s no way of knowing at this time. He said they’re waiting to see actual numbers from tax dollars.