By WARREN SLAUGHTER
It wasn’t business as usual at Tuesday’s Dalhart City Council meeting. At the previous meeting, various entities made presentations to receive a slice of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund of about $235,000. Mayor Pro Tem Joe Garcia then appointed a committee consisting of himself, Councilman Kurtis Thomas and Councilwoman Kerry Miller. Usually what happens is this committee comes back at the next council meeting and presents their recommendations to the city council as to how the funds should be disbursed, which is usually pretty much in line with the entities’ requests. But not this time.
The council members, fresh from a trip to a Texas Municipal League (TML) meeting in Grapevine, excitedly shared their recommendations with the rest of the council. The committee’s first recommendation is that January’s disbursement be done the same as in the past, with the exception that HOT will pay for the membership of Dalhart hotels in the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association and Accommodations Guide to promote Dalhart hotels and motels. This will be taken off the top prior to the disbursement to the entities. Hotels that have paid their memberships will be reimbursed for their expense.
The committee also recommends that the city council draft and vote on an ordinance to raise the Hotel Occupancy Tax from five percent to seven percent. If the ordinance is passed, the committee proposes the following changes:
• A board will be established that consists of representation from the hotel industry, the community and the City. This board will recommend action to the City Council and meet at least quarterly. The board will approve the recipients’ quarterly reports and verify that expenditures qualify for HOT reimbursements.
For the full story SUBSCRIBE to the online edition of The Dalhart Texan, call 244-4511 to setup a subscription to our physical paper or pick a copy up at one of our many convenient newsrack locations. You can also stop by and purchase a paper or subscription in person at our news office located at 410 Denrock Ave.