Lubbock County Expo Center Project Won’t Be Able to Collect Taxes From Car Rental Fee
The Lubbock County Expo Center project, which is on the November 6th ballot for Lubbock County have been dealt a funding blow by a federal bill that was signed by President Trump on October 5th.
The five-year re-authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration contained new provisions that blocks cities from imposing taxes and fees at federally funded airports that aren't used for specific airport use. In other words, car rental taxes or proposed taxes can't be used to fund projects away from the airport.
Proponents of the Lubbock County Expo Center want to increase the Hotel Occupancy Tax in Lubbock by 2 percent, while also raising the rental car tax by 5 percent to pay for the Lubbock County Expo Center.
Because the vote will happen in November, which is a month after President Trump signed the bill, the increase in rental car taxes would not be able to pay for the Lubbock County Expo Center, according to story from Auto Rental News:
Supported by the American Car Rental Association (ACRA) as well as 37 bipartisan groups, the amendment does not supersede the right of state and local governments to continue to impose non-discriminatory taxes such as income, sales, property, and other broad-based taxes and fees. It “grandfathers” existing discriminatory taxes and fees, such as rental car taxes currently on the books, until the tax is repealed or sunsets. The amendment also preserves current and future airport-related fees that are imposed solely at all airport businesses.
“Local governments have for years looked to siphon off revenue from airport businesses and use it for non-airport purposes, and they continue to do so,” said Greg Scott, ACRA’s lobbyist. “This is an important milestone in the fight to eradicate unfair excise taxes that add more to the cost of travel for car rental customers, though the fight is not over.”
Early voting for the November 6th election begins on Monday, Oct. 22nd. As of right now, proponents of the Lubbock County Expo Center have not addressed the issue of the rental car tax or what impact the law will have on funding for the project.