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Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa: District 20
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Press Release
June 1, 2015
Contact: Desiree Castro
(512) 463-0120 office
Texas Legislature Passes HB 1915 Allocation of State Hotel Occupancy Tax to Certain Coastal Municipalities
HB 1915 Headed to Governor's Desk

AUSTIN, TX - HB 1915 joint-authored by State Representative Abel Herrero and State Representative Todd Hunter and sponsored by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa was sent to the Governor's Desk. HB 1915 would allow the city of Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Surfside, and Quintana to retain 2% of the state hotel occupancy taxes collected by the cities to be reinvested for beach maintenance and restoration.

Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"Tourism generates an annual economic impact of $1 billion for the Corpus Christi region. 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."

Currently, three cities are eligible to retain a portion of the state Hotel Occupancy Tax: South Padre Island, Galveston and Port Aransas. However, there is no state funding to cover the state beach costs in Corpus Christi, and limited state funding for state beach expenses in Port Aransaswhich receives only 1% of the state Hotel Occupancy Tax funds compared to the 2% that other eligible communities receive.

Beaches are vital to the coastal economy and to the State of Texas. The funds would go towards beach maintenance, safety upgrades, and erosion management projects, efforts that would help bring increased tourism to the area and an additional boost to the economy.

Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa proudly represents the counties of Nueces, Jim Wells, Brooks, and Hidalgo (part). Senator Hinojosa serves as the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate in the 84th Texas Legislature. Senator Hinojosa currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and serves on the Senate Committees on Natural Resources & Economic Development, Criminal Justice, Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs as well as the Legislative Budget Board (LBB), and the Sunset Advisory Commission.