Today is election day for 10 propositions on City ballot
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Round Rock voters will decide 10 local propositions. The first eight are proposed amendments to the City Charter. Proposition 9 regards a hotel occupancy tax change for an indoor sports facility. Proposition 10 is about expanding the uses of the City’s Type B economic development sales tax.
Visit our Election Information page for polling places, times, and voter registration links.
Visit the Williamson County election page for results.
Charter amendment propositions
The City Charter is the document that dictates how and why we as a City do things the way we do. For example, it provides for the Council-Manager form of local government, length of terms of office for City Councilmembers, and a myriad of details about City operations.
The Charter is reviewed every four years by a City Council-appointed Charter Review Commission.
The City Council reviews the Commission’s recommendations (PDF) and decides what amendments, if any, to put before voters.
Below are the eight Charter amendment propositions. Voters can vote for or against each proposed amendment.
- PROPOSITION NO. 1 would clarify that certain matters require an affirmative vote of four members of the City Council
- PROPOSITION NO. 2 would change the term “City Secretary” to “City Clerk.”
- PROPOSITION NO. 3 would change the term “telecopier” to “email address” and change the term “telephonic document” to “electronic document.”
- PROPOSITION NO. 4 would amend Section 7.02 to correct a spelling error and correct a paragraph reference.
- PROPOSITION NO. 5 would change the duties and responsibilities of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
- PROPOSITION NO. 6 would clarify that referendum provisions do not apply to ordinances authorizing the issuance of bonds.
- PROPOSITION NO. 7 would amend Section 5.03(d) to make requirements for ballot election language consistent with state statues.
- PROPOSITION NO. 8 would amend Section 3.05 to remove “Official Plats” from the list of documents requiring the Mayor’s signature.
Indoor Sports Facility
Proposition 9 regards a venue tax which, if approved, would authorize an additional 2 percent in local hotel occupancy tax (HOT) to finance an indoor sports venue in Round Rock. The city’s existing hotel tax is 7 percent (the state of Texas collects 6 percent). The additional revenue can only go toward the venue. At current hotel occupancy rates, the additional 2 percent would generate approximately $630,000 a year.
The indoor sports venue would be utilized for the City’s “Sports Capital of Texas” tourism program. The City’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau currently recruits outdoor sports events almost exclusively because there are limited indoor facilities capable of hosting events like basketball and volleyball tournaments, and cheer and martial arts competitions.
Under state law, hotel tax revenue can only be used to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry. It cannot be spent on basic municipal government services like public safety, parks and recreation, utilities, street maintenance, etc.
The facility is expected to cost approximately $12 million, which does not include land, design and engineering costs or related infrastructure. It would be located on Chisholm Trail Drive, just west of FM 3406, on land purchased by the City in December.
AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF ROUND ROCK TO FINANCE A SPORTS AND COMMUNITY VENUE PROJECT AND RELATED INFRASTRUCTURE AND TO IMPOSE A HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX AT A RATE NOT TO EXCEED TWO PERCENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING THE VENUE PROJECT.
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Economic Development Sales Tax
Proposition 10 regards the use of the City’s Type B economic development sales tax, which is currently limited to funding transportation projects.
If approved by voters, it would allow the Type B sales tax to be used for additional purposes as allowed by state law. It would not increase the City’s sales tax rate. Type B denotes the state law that stipulates the uses for this sales tax, which is for the promotion of economic development.
Round Rock voters in 1997 limited revenue from this half-cent sales tax to major road and transportation projects, i.e., those that impacted economic development like A.W. Grimes Boulevard, right of way for SH 45, and improvements and expansion of the IH 35-University Boulevard intersection. At the time, the City was faced with severe mobility problems, most notably on the south end of town near the then-rapidly growing Dell corporate campus.
Since that time, the City has leveraged the $115 million of Type B revenue into $376 million worth of projects by partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation, Williamson County and private developers. The City Council is now asking voters to decide if the use of Type B revenue can be expanded to include other economic development programs as allowed by state law.
Sales tax by the numbers: State of Texas collects 6.25 percent. The City of Round Rock collects 2 percent. Of the City’s share, 1 percent goes into the General Fund, which pays for basic city services. A half-percent is dedicated to property tax reduction (as approved by voters in 1988), while the remaining half-percent is for Type B transportation projects.
PROPOSITION NO. 10
AUTHORIZING THE EXISTING TYPE B SALES AND USE TAX TO BE USED FOR ADDITIONAL PURPOSES AS PROVIDED BY STATE LAW.
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Posted: Tuesday, November 08, 2011