Brownfield City Council met recently and took action on a special request for Hotel Occupancy Tax. The council approved the request for $1700 by a very slim margin. The threats made during the meeting could affect the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce.
The Brownfield City Council made it clear “If the Chamber of Commerce continues to harass the city council and the Hotel Occupancy Tax Board in the future, this council could and would consider canceling the contract between the city and chamber and go elsewhere for a Visitor and Information Center.
The event in question was set up by the Chamber of Commerce to celebrate not only Terry County being deemed the Grape Capital of Texas, but to honor local grape producers. The event was hosted by the Chamber in July. The chamber requested funds of $1700 to offset costs incurred for the event. Councilman, Jack Cargill made a statement that he felt the request was invalid, saying it was made after the event.
Questions were also asked of City Manager Eldon Jobe following a report that $190,000 in Hotel Occupancy Tax was collected in 2015 and $114,000 was spent with $62,000 of that going to the Chamber of Commerce. Jobe also reported that he had received an inquiry from the Texas State Comptrollers office requesting a full report on how Hotel Occupancy Tax money was spent. Jobe said the questions were being raised by those advocating for the Texas hotel/motel industry. Jobe noted it was only a request, however, he felt the state would likely mandate the information be provided.
After much discussion the request was approved. This same request was voted down on 2 separate occasions by the Hotel Occupancy Tax committee in Brownfield.