FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2015
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN, TX - Today, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and Senator Lois Kolkhorst filed Senate Bill 749, legislation to secure an equitable 2% portion of the state's Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) for Corpus Christi and Port Aransas for gulf and bay beach cleaning, maintenance and coastal erosion. Currently, Corpus Christi remains ineligible to receive any portion of the state's HOT funds, while other barrier island municipalities receive 2% of these funds.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"A key component for our tourism industry is attractive beaches. Allowing Corpus Christi to access 2% of the state's Hotel Occupancy Tax will increase Corpus Christi's beach cleanup funding by about $2 million annually. This will grow our tourism economy attracting more visitors and businesses, and will allow for a more pleasant beach experience for our residents and tourists."
Senator Lois Kolkhorst remarked, "Our gulf and bay are strong economic engines for this area and I'm proud to support an effort to improve both beach cleaning and coastal erosion in the Corpus Christi and Aransas Pass region."
Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez stated, "I am pleased that Senator Hinojosa filed S.B. 749 to give the Cities of Corpus Christi and Port Aransas two percent of the State's Hotel Occupancy Tax for beach maintenance and erosion response. Tourism generates an annual economic impact of $1 billion for the Corpus Christi region, so it is a good investment for the State of Texas to grow the tourism economy. These needed funds will supplement the City's beach cleaning and public safety budget for its Gulf and bay beaches. We simply want equity with other Texas barrier island cities – Galveston and South Padre Island."