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When visitors to Galveston stay overnight in a hotel, condo, bed and breakfast or short-term rental, they are assessed a 15% tax known as the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT). These funds help keep our beaches clean, protect beachgoers, market Galveston to potential visitors and more. Here’s how HOT works.
HOT was created as a funding mechanism to provide communities ways to increase visitation. The tax is imposed on visitors, not residents, and helps foster economic growth, local employment and increases sales tax revenues. The State of Texas mandates how HOT funds can be spent.
Here in Galveston, the restricted funds are divided into 15 “pennies;” a penny for each percentage of tax collected.
Each year, the Park Board, with input from tourism stakeholders, sets the value of the HOT penny based on revenue projections. The value of the penny was set at $2,040,000 for the fiscal year 2018-2019. This means that hotel tax in Galveston is expected to generate $30,600,000.
Each penny has a purpose and is allocated for specific tasks and programs in the following way:
“Residents benefit greatly from this tax paid for by visitors,” Park Board Executive Director Kelly de Schaun said. “In addition to keeping our beaches clean and nourished, these funds support island amenities like the trolley system, Broadway beautification and numerous non-profits that enhance our quality of life.”
Park board meetings are typically held on the fourth Tuesdays of the month at 1:30 p.m. at 601 23rd St.