A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is in effect for Lee County until 7:15am. A FLASH FLOOD WATCH is in effect for Lee County until 7pm Sunday, Milam, Robertson, Leon Counties until 12am Monday and Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Madison, Montgomery,San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller, and Washington Counties until 12am Tuesday. Widespread 2" to 4" rain accumulations are possible through Monday, with localized 8" to 11" possible.
Brazos County commissioners lobbied the Texas legislature to amend Chapter 352 of the state tax code in order to collect a two percent hotel motel occupancy tax.
On June 15, the state granted their request and hotels across the county made preparations to collect the tax on September 1.
Hampton Inn General Manager Ron Fulton says modifying his hotel's computer system was effortless.
"Area software was easily updated to include the tax," Fulton said.
Brazos County Judge Randy Sims says the hotel motel tax offered the best solution to fund the county's Exposition Complex while creating an influx of people to area hotels.
"It helps us generate money we can put back into the facility that is generating heads in beds," Sims said.
Fulton says he and other hotel officials saw the potential benefit of the tax's purpose.
"I think everybody looks at the Expo Center as being another great addition to the community," Fulton said.
In addition to paying state and city taxes, the tax revenue generated must be used be attract business to the center and county communities.
"Forty-five percent has got to go to marketing, and certainly, we're going to do that," Sims said.
Another large portion of the revenue must go into a fund that is solely for the Expo Center.
"Not into the general fund," Sims explained. "It's got to be spent out there which is what we wanted to do."
The more people that visit the Expo Center and come to Brazos County for conventions or Texas A&M events could translate into an economic boom not only for hotels, but for the mall, restaurants and gas stations.
The tax will remain in place until September 1, 2015, at which time an advisory committee will review the continued need for the tax.
Until then, hotel officials hope that once out-of-towners check out what Brazos County has to offer, they check in for as many nights as possible.
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