The special election was declared during the Aug. 10 meeting and will be held Nov. 8.
The proposal, known as the Brimer Bill, seeks to use an increase in the city’s hotel occupancy tax to fund the convention center expansion and Fair Park improvements.
If approved, the bill allows a 2% increase in the total hotel occupancy tax rate from 13% to 15%.
Hotel occupancy tax is a state mandatory tax applied to guests who rent a hotel room that costs $15 or more each day, according to the Texas comptroller's website. The tax applies to hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, condominiums, apartments and houses. The state hotel occupancy tax rate is 6% of the cost of a room, though some cities are also authorized to impose an additional local hotel tax. Dallas charges a 7% rate.
The convention center at 650 S. Griffin St. in downtown Dallas is a city-owned facility that holds yearly conferences and other events. Fair Park is a municipally owned park that serves as the host site for the Texas State Fair, which includes The Music Hall at Fair Park, The Cotton Bowl Stadium and The Fair Park Coliseum.
In November 2017, the city presented a study that identified several needs at the center. The study identified needs for additional ballroom and meeting space, a larger area for food and beverage preparation, and more hotel rooms.
Increasing the hotel occupancy tax rate was first discussed at an April 27 Dallas City Council meeting. Mayor Pro Tem Chad West said the hotel occupancy tax would keep the cost burden off residents.
According to the city estimates, the revenue generated through the hotel tax increase could be $1.5 billion over 30 years. Dallas City Council approved the initial resolution in a 14-1 vote during the April 27 meeting.