Austin mayor suggests hotel occupancy tax increase to tackle homelessness

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Mayor Steve Adler introduced a plan Sunday to utilize an increase in the hotel occupancy tax to tackle problems with the homeless population in downtown Austin.

According to KVUE’s partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Adler’s plan suggests a 1-2 percent increase in hotel taxes to fund a Tourism Public Improvement District, and that it would generate $4-8 million annually to respond to Austin’s homeless population. Adler laid out his plan on the city council’s message board Sunday night.

“Such an increase can only be levied under state law with the hotel industry’s support and industries typically do not want taxes raised on their products,” Adler wrote. “However, indications are that the Austin hotel industry would participate in providing such a funding stream to deal with the community priority of downtown homelessness if it were part of a package that also included the expansion of the convention center.”

The Statesman reported in May that the Vision Task Force suggested a two percent hotel occupancy tax (HOT) to pay for a $609 million expansion to the Austin Convention Center.

An estimated 650 homeless people are in the downtown area every day, the mayor added.

TAP HERE to read Mayor Adler’s proposal.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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