ODESSA- Most hotels and motels in the Basin come with a hefty price tag and now a resolution has passed that could raise those prices even higher in Ector County. But it's not a done deal just yet, it still has to go through the legislative processes in Austin before it's set in stone.
A unanimous approval came from Ector County Commissioners Monday morning on approving a resolution that would give officials the option of imposing a two percent tax on overnight stays at hotels and motels within the county.
"This is does not obligate us to impose any new tax, this is just giving us the option in the future should we choose to do this. It would be an additional two percent on the overnight stay in a hotel/motel outside the city limits but within Ector County," Ector County Judge, Susan Redford, said.
According to Redford, Ector County is one of the very few large counties in the state that does not have this option of imposing the tax. She says Representative Tryon Lewis will be introducing the piece of legislation in this upcoming legislative session in Austin to amend the Texas Tax Code on behalf of Ector County.
"There's a growing number of counties that are getting this ability in the Texas Tax Code and the processes you have to go through. It just seems right to have the ability to make the decision whether or not we want to impose a hotel/motel tax," Redford said.
If the bill is approved, it won't go into effect until after September first of 2013, depending on how the Commissioners Court feels on whether to apply it or not.
"Then it'll come back to the Commissioners Court for us to consider whether or not to do this," Redford said.
The state tax code requires if a county does impose the tax that the revenue goes towards something that promotes tourism in the county. Therefore, The Ector County Coliseum is the pick, the money would be used for maintenance, operations and improvements.
"The most likely choice for us is the coliseum because that's what draws the most people in," Redford said.
For all of this to happen, lawmakers need to give the green light for it and then be approved by Governor Rick Perry.