A new economic development tool to fund a potential hotel project could be utilized by Plano, if they are included in a bill that would allow them to access the special financing option.

Plano City Council approved an 18-month contract with BTA Professional Service LLC during its Jan. 8 meeting that would hire a lobbyist to advocate for Plano’s inclusion on a bill that would allow additional public financing for a qualified hotel project. The contract is worth $126,300 over its term.

What you need to know

Director of Policy and Government Relations Andrew Fortune said during the meeting that staff have been working to identify suitable projects for the financing tool. According to a council memo, a qualified project must be on city-owned land, within 1,000 feet of a 10,000-square-foot or more convention center, and other requirements, such as project timing.

Per the memo, the lobbyist would be engaged only for qualified hotel projects legislation. If approved to access additional public funds, city staff could apply for a rebate of the state portion of sales tax and the 6% portion of state hotel occupancy tax for 10 years.

Fortune said during the meeting that no specific project has been identified for use of the qualified hotel projects funding. City staff previously briefed council on the potential for use with the Plano Event Center hotel project during a preliminary open meeting Dec. 11.

What’s next?

As part of approving the contract, city staff will likely add pursuit of the qualified hotel projects financing tool to its agenda for the 89th legislative session in 2025. The approved contract also contains one optional renewal for a two-year term at the end of the 18-month contract.