College Station Considers Hotel Tax

Raising taxes is never popular, so the City of College Station is proposing that visitors to the city bear the brunt of a convention center.

The city has proposed giving voters the final say on how to fund the future convention center and hotel project.

The idea is to levy a venue tax on visitors who stay in College Station hotels.

The state occupancy tax allows up to a two percent tax on hotels. College Station has 25 hotels.

The venue tax is just a proposal, and College Station residents must vote on it, said David Gwin, the city's Director of Economic and Community Development.

The future convention center would be built on eight acres, where the current Chimney Hill Shopping Center is located.

In October 2008, the city purchased the Chimney Hill Shopping Center for nearly $10 million.

The city will honor all the current leases in the center and would like to start construction in 2010, according to Gwin.

During a city council retreat this week, Gwin said the council told city staff to move forward with the convention center and 250 room hotel. However, they said they would not let the struggling economy affect the project, and would put the hotel on the back burner before holding back the convention center.

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