In a new Facebook video released this morning, Mayor Ginger Nelson said that funds collected by the City from the Hotel Occupancy Tax will be used to fund MPEV payments, parking garage payment, Amarillo Civic Center Complex improvements and tourism projects.
Nelson said that the 7 percent of HOT tax collected by the City will be enough to fund all of the projects. Under the numbers shown by Nelson, $1,100,000 will be used on MPEV down payments and funding, $1,200,000 will be used on Civic Center operations and $1,650,000 will be used on Civic Center improvements. Under Nelson's numbers, the Parking Garage, which is slated to use about $750,000 from the fund, is considered a piece of the Civic Center improvement package.
Also under the numbers released, $2,400,000 will be spent by the Convention and Visitors Council on tourism projects and $484,000 will be used for conventions.
As we reported earlier this year, HOT tax is one of many revenue sources that the City plans to use to fund the MPEV. Jesse Patton, communications director for the City of Amarillo said that the MPEV funding structure will include HOT payments and possibly PID bonds.
"The MPEV takes no property taxes. It is funded through hotel occupancy taxes and possibly public improvement district bonds." Patton told the Amarillo Pioneer.
In our article from June, Councilmember Elaine Hays also said that additional moneys will be used for the MPEV's construction, in addition to HOT tax funds.
"None of that has totally been all identified," Hays said, "All bonds would be backed by HOT taxes. Payments come from a savings account from the HOT tax and from bonds backed by the tax. The third source would be from lease payment from the team."
The numbers have drawn criticism from some who say that the math does not add up. Local activist James Schenck criticized the numbers, writing, "There is more to this story when you factor in $1.1 million doesn't go very far toward funding the Ballpark even if we have $8 million to put down against $44 million dollar stadium."
Nelson's numbers were drawn from HOT tax information for the previous fiscal year. It is not yet clear what the HOT tax collection will be for the upcoming fiscal year.
For full budget details, please visit amarillo.gov.