Claire Kowalick, Wichita Falls Times Record News
The Wichita Falls City Council expressed nearly unanimous support for moving on to the development phase of a new full-service hotel next to the Multi-Purpose Events Center.
Assistant City Manager Blake Jurecek said a master development agreement was signed Friday by the three entities involved in the new hotel and conference center – the city, the 4B Board and O’Reilly Hospitality.
The move approved Tuesday, with one dissenting vote from Councilor Steve Jackson, allows the city to contract with Gerri A. Kielhofner, AIA, doing business as gak Architect, to prepare plans for construction of the 35,930-square foot conference center.
The $43-million hotel and the $12-million conference center will both be designed by gak Architect. This architect has designed several similarly sized hotel projects for O’Reilly and other companies.
The plan is for a 200-room Delta by Marriott hotel with joining banquet/conference center space.
A funding mechanism to pay for the city’s portion of the project has not been completely hashed out, but the funding will go through 4B.
Funding will come from sales-tax dollars that are already collected and will not come from property taxes.
The city collects about $8 million in property taxes each year, which is split half and half between the 4A and 4B boards.
Along with not causing a property-tax increase, the new hotel project could have a positive effect on what the city must pay out each year to subsidize the MPEC.
Darron Leiker, City Manager
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Claire Kowalick, a senior journalist for the Times Record News, covers local government, military and MSU Texas. If you have a news tip, contact Claire at email@example.com.
What is the Wichita Falls Hotel/Motel Tax?
The Hotel/Motel tax is assessed against the occupants of rented rooms in hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. Both the city and the state collect taxes from the rental of these rooms. The state rate is 6% and the city rate is 7% for a combined hotel/motel tax rate of 13%. A hotel’s owner, operator, or manager must collect hotel taxes from their guests and remit these taxes to both the local municipality as well as to the state. Tax revenue from the city hotel occupancy tax may be used only to promote tourism and the convention and the hotel industry. Cities also have the option to use this tax for the encouragement, promotion, improvement of the arts and the City of Wichita Falls uses a portion of these taxes to accomplish these goals
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