Over the past decade, THLA has expanded its legislative program from being primarily defensive to being a strong and proactive agenda of legislation that our trade association initiates. The proactive legislation has resulted in THLA passing the following state initiatives:
- Record Levels of state tourism funding to promote Texas for tourism and hotel activity.
- Over 30 percent increase to the state per diem rates.
- A cap on total hotel tax rates assessed by cities & counties.
- A limit on the number of years a city can audit a hotel for hotel occupancy taxes.
- Provided contract protections for hotel tax rate increases.
- A 51% Reduction in the mixed beverage gross receipts tax paid by Hotels, saving hotels millions of dollars annually in operating costs for serving mixed beverages.
- A 25% reduction in the state franchise tax.
- Authority to create tourism public improvement districts (TPIDs) in five Texas cities.
- Substantial state funding for beach restoration and preservation (rebate of 1/3 of the state hotel tax to coastal cities: South Padre, Galveston, Port Aransas, and Corpus Christi).
- Partnered with the Texas Travel Industry Association on a “Uniform School Start Date” law, ensuring a full summer travel.
- New uses for local hotel tax revenue with return-on-investment requirements, and protection of a percentage of hotel occupancy tax funds allocated for marketing hotel activity.
- Passed legislation to prevent state government entities from posting individual property hotel tax information on a public website.
THLA successfully opposed bills that are adverse to our industry. Examples include:
- Every state hotel tax increase that was opposed by the industry.
- Detrimental surcharges and fees against hotel nights.
- Burdensome facility, personnel & operational requirements.
- Non-tourism uses of the local hotel tax (education, pollution, daycare, city infrastructure).
- Union and “living wage” mandate bills.
- Preemption of local short-term rental ordinances.