News Release from the office of Senator Carlos Uresti

June 22, 2011
CONTACT: Mark Langford at 512-463-0119

Uresti bill affirms Reeves County venue district

(AUSTIN) — Happy rodeo week!

That's the message to the people of Reeves County from state Sen. Carlos Uresti, who passed a bill in the 82nd Legislature that legalized the use of hotel tax revenues to fund restoration of the rodeo arena.

House Bill 1040, which Sen. Uresti shepherded through the Senate, cleared the way for the county to use revenues generated by the local sports and community venue district previously approved by voters. Uresti's bill, which became effective last Friday, was necessary because of the way the district was initially created.

Several years ago, Reeves County held a venue district election in which voters approved a two percent hotel occupancy tax. The election was held within the Pecos city limits, rather than countywide as required by law. More recently, a second election was held countywide, and the initiative passed again.

House Bill 1040 basically validates those previous elections and the expenditure of motel tax revenues on the rodeo arena.

"This new law removes any doubt that revenues collected by the district could be spent on behalf of the people of Reeves County," Uresti said. "I worked hard for its passage because it affirms their decision at the ballot box to restore an important piece of Pecos' history and boost the economic fortunes of the county."

Senator Uresti represents Senate District 19, a 50,000 square mile area extending from the city of San Antonio in Bexar County to the Lower Valley of El Paso County. The legislative district in the nation, it spans two time zones and contains nine of the 14 border counties in Texas, two-thirds of the U.S.-Mexico border within Texas, and all or part of 23 counties. Senate District 19 is home to five U.S. ports of entry, three U.S. toll bridges, 62 school districts, seven military sites, six state parks, and two national parks.