News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

May 11, 2009
CONTACT: Mark Langford at 512.463.0119

Uresti bill lets Brewster County set same hotel/motel tax rate as Alpine

The Texas Senate on Monday passed a bill by Sen. Carlos Uresti that would allow Brewster County to impose the same hotel/motel occupancy tax rate as its county seat, Alpine.

Senate Bill 2559 would let the county place a 7 percent tax on hotel and motel rooms. The rate is currently capped at 3 percent.

Brewster County already has one of the top tourist attractions in the state, Big Bend National Park, so the potential exists to raise significant revenues, Uresti noted.

"This measure will give the county the opportunity to raise more money for the development of tourism-related projects," Uresti said.

The measure exempts the city of Alpine, which has its own occupancy tax, ensuring that hotel and motel consumers there would not face double taxation.

The bill was sent to the House on a vote of 31-0.

Carlos Uresti is the senator from State Senate District 19 representing over 750,000 residents throughout a 23 county area stretching along the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Antonio to El Paso County, including all or part of the following: Bandera, Bexar, Brewster, Culberson, Crockett, El Paso, Edwards, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Real, Reeves, Sutton, Terrell, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, and Winkler counties. Covering 55,000 square miles, the district contains 62 school districts and spans two time zones.