OCTOBER 14, 2016


It’s up to the voters whether to leave $50 million on the table. Island voters will have to decide if the city or county will receive the Island’s venue tax revenue. Both the city and county have proposals for a venue tax on the Nov. 8 ballot, but only one can haul in the Island’s portion of the tax.
At a recent City Council meeting, Commissioner Dennis Stahl said the venue tax, if approved, will generate $50 million during the next 20 years, and it’s going to be very important where those $50 million are going. “It will give us an opportunity to invest in infrastructure and help grow this Island,” Stahl said.
The vote for the South Padre Island venue tax will take place during the regular early voting and general election set for a few weeks from now. The hotel occupancy tax is at 14.5 percent. The council would like to raise the HOT tax to 16.5 percent with voter approval.
However, citizens will have to cast their votes to raise the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent for the venue tax for the Island on the first floor of city hall. The general election will be held on the second floor. Officials said because the money is raised on the Island, the people of the Island should decide how it will be spent.

-By RAUL GARCIA Staff Writer