By Lora-Marie Bernard
During the final hours of the 85th Legislative Session, both the state House and Senate approved House Bill 2445 expands opportunities for League City’s economic development and tourism efforts.
HB 2445 allows League City to pledge the state’s portion of the hotel occupancy tax, sales tax, and qualifying mixed alcoholic beverage taxes to the construction of a myriad of projects that have been on the city’s table. For example, the funds can be used to create a convention center and entertainment-related facilities for it. They could be used to bolster hotel infrastructure and build ancillary facilities such as restaurants and retail.
State Representatives Greg Bonnen and Wayne Faircloth, State Rep. Dennis Paul and Sen. Larry Taylor were critical to the bills success, said Scott Livingston, Director of Economic Development for League City.
“This proposed bill will equip League City with a new tool to stimulate tourism and economic development that will improve the quality of life for our citizens and the tourism experience for our visitors,” Livingston said.
He also said Scott Joslove, president of the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, and his staff was also important. He said they advised the city and testified in favor of the bill before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Mayor Pat Hallisey, Councilman Nick Long, City Manager John Baumgartner, City Attorney Nghiem Doan, and Livingston also testified before the committee in April.
The measure falls in line with the city’s formal legislative agenda which included two priorities. First, the city would support legislation that advanced home rule authority and local council control of city interests. Second, the city would support legislation that rebated state taxes to support the construction of a convention center in League City.
HB 2445 will become state law upon Governor Greg Abbot’s signature.