Wimberley City Council approves new HOT tax – Corridor News
WIMBERLEY, TX – A 7% hotel occupancy tax (HOT) was unanimously approved by city council on December 2, which will come into effect on April 1, 2022. At that time, the city will begin to collect the tax from owners of accommodation within city limits. and in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the city. Accommodation owners charge the tax on a separate line to overnight tourists.
“This is a tourist tax – accommodation owners just collect it and remit it to the city, like a sales tax,” Council member Jim Chiles said.
As reported at the October 21 council meeting, Wimberley was the only tourist town in Texas not to collect hotel occupancy tax. Smaller neighboring towns including Dripping Springs, Blanco, Johnson City, and Boerne apply the tax at the 7% rate, as do larger towns like San Marcos, Kyle, Austin, and San Antonio.
“All of these cities have collected this tax for years and are spending the funds in accordance with state law and for the benefit of both homeowners and their citizens,” said Council member Rebecca Minnick. “We have a lot in common with these cities and we can do the same. “
Along with tax approval, the city prepares a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a compliance firm to ensure that all accommodation facilities, including short-term rentals, are counted and pay the tax. tax, said city administrator Mike Boese.
According to the ordinance, the city will form a HOT advisory committee made up of accommodation owners. The committee will make recommendations, in conjunction with city council, on how funds are allocated, according to Boese. The city is currently accepting applications for seven positions.
Wimberley’s HOT had already been adopted in 2015 at a rate of 5%. The Council sitting in 2018 repealed the tax. Approximately $ 142,000 remained in the fund in 2019 and was allocated to popular direction signs in the city. There are currently 11 signs installed and others are under construction. The remainder was assigned to the visitor kiosk at Oak Drive Hospitality Center, which is currently under construction.
Council proposed plans to disburse funds for signs, shuttles, visitor kiosks and a phone app that allows visitors to locate accommodation, parking and attractions. The funds can also be used to support the arts and historical preservation.
“The plans will be refined over the next few months and finalized in the 2023 budgeting process as the committee provides feedback and funds begin to accumulate,” Minnick said.
Under Texas law, hotel occupancy tax funds can be used to:
- Signage directing the public to sites and attractions frequently visited by tourists
- Some transportation systems serving tourists and hotel guests
- Construction, maintenance and operation of a convention or reception center
- Advertising and promotional programs to attract tourists
- Encouragement and promotion of the arts
- Historic restoration and preservation projects
- Qualified sports facilities that regularly host regional or national tournaments; and colosseums or multi-purpose facilities
- For some cities, sporting events for which the majority of participants come from outside the city
- Facilities and staff for the registration of convention delegates
To submit a nomination: go to https://www.cityofwimberley.com/volunteer or call (512) 648-2402.