Do not overlook the new hotel occupancy tax (HOT) requirements enacted by the 2017 Legislature in S.B. 1221 (creating section 351.009 of the Texas Tax Code). This new law requires cities that collect a local HOT, a venue tax, or both to report annually certain information as described below.
THE PROCESS: A city must report, not later than February 20 of each year, to the Comptroller in either of two ways:
You may report on-line using the Comptroller’s short form. There is a link to the template at this webpage: https://comptroller.texas.gov/transparency/local/hotel-receipts/ ; or, You may report by providing the Comptroller a direct link to a clear statement describing the required information that is posted on your city’s internet website (this does not mean Facebook).
THE REPORT: A city that collects local HOT and/or venue tax must report:
(1) the rate of the HOT tax imposed by the city and, if applicable, the rate of any venue tax imposed; and
(2) the amount of revenue collected during the city’s preceding fiscal year from one or both of those taxes;
(3) the amount and percentage of the revenue [described in subdivision (2)] that was allocated to each of the following six purposes in the preceding fiscal year:
(a) for acquisition of sites for an the construction, improvement, enlarging, equipping, repairing, operation, and maintenance of convention center facilities or visitor information centers, or both;
(b) for furnishing of facilities, personnel, and materials for the registration of convention delegates or registrants;
(c) for advertising and conducting solicitations and promotional programs to attract tourists and convention delegates or registrants to the city or its vicinity;
(d) for the encouragement, promotion, improvement, and application of the arts, including instrumental and vocal music, dance, drama, folk art, creative writing, architecture, design and allied fields, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic and craft arts, motion pictures, radio, television, tape and sound recording, and other arts related to the presentation, performance, execution, and exhibition of these major art forms;
(e) for historical restoration and preservation projects or activities or advertising and conducting solicitations and promotional programs to encourage tourists and convention delegates to visit preserved historic sites or museums at or in the immediate vicinity of convention center facilities or visitor information centers or located elsewhere in the city or its vicinity that would be frequented by tourists and convention delegates; and
(f) for signage directing the public to sights and attractions that are visited frequently by hotel guests in the city;
A SUGGESTION: Based upon the wording of the statute and the format of the Comptroller’s on-line report, it is our opinion that only the total sum allocated for each purpose is to be reported, not the amount of each discrete expenditure within those six purposes. Contact the Municipal Law Section if you have further questions.