Taylor County Expo Center gets increase in funds from 2% venue tax

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)- In 2004 The Abilene-Taylor County Events District was created, adding 2% to hotel/motel stays in Taylor County and The City of Abilene, and allocates those funds to Frontier Texas and The Taylor County Expo Center.

“Our budget was calling for that we would receive $465,843 in venue taxes, do you see that number there? Which comes out to be 66.7% of our budget,” said Jeff Salmon, Executive Director of Frontier Texas.

“Construction was delayed for phase two for seven months and as a result of that, I had to bring in generators in order to host The Texas High School Rodeo Finals this year. So that was about a $40,000 addition expense that we were not expecting this year,” said Rochelle Johnson, Executive VP & General Manager, Expo Center.

After two years of keeping the amount of the same, the board voted 3-2 to give The Expo Center an extra 1.5% increase, making it 53.5% to Frontier Texas and 46.5% to The Expo Center. This is expected to give The Expo Center around $12,569 more than last year.

“We had bad rain last year during the West Texas Fair and Rodeo in 2018. Affected our fair by a negative $60,000,” said Johnson.

The Expo Center also lost money because of the delay in construction as well as preparing for the future and next phases.

“I just simply can’t put the construction of the coliseum and allowing the construction company the adequate time to get it finished on time I can’t bring events in and prohibit that from happening,” said Johnson.

That is just an estimate if the hotel/motel stays increase so does the money they receive.

“This is a good year for that allocation shift to happen if it is going to happen because the hotel revenues are increasing above what we anticipated then this shouldn’t have as hard of an impact on us,” said Salmon.

In 2023 we will be going back to the polls to decide if we want to create another venue tax when the current one sunsets in 2024.

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