ORDINANCE  NO. 2023-01 – AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEYMOUR, TEXAS, REPEALING ALL EXISTING ORDINANCES, PERTAINING TO HOTEL/MOTEL FUNDS, ALSO, CREATING AND UPDATING REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES.

Jan 23, 2024

ORDINANCE  NO. 2023-01

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEYMOUR, TEXAS, REPEALING ALL EXISTING ORDINANCES, PERTAINING TO HOTEL/MOTEL FUNDS, ALSO, CREATING AND UPDATING REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEYMOUR, TEXAS, THAT THIS ORDINANCE SERVES AS THE BINDING CONTRACT BETWEEN THE CITY COUNCIL AND THE HOTEL/MOTEL TAX BOARD AS FOLLOWS:

There is hereby levied a tax upon the cost of occupancy of any room or space furnished by any hotel or motel where such cost of occupancy is at a rate of $2.00 or more per day, such tax to be equal to 7% of the price paid by the occupant of such room, space, or facility in such hotel or motel, exclusive of other occupancy taxes imposed by other governmental agencies.

DEFINITION OF TERMS: The following words, terms and phrases are, for the purpose of this article, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning, defined as follows:

HOTEL: Any building or buildings in which the public may, for a consideration obtain sleeping accommodations.  The term shall include hotels, motels, tourist homes, houses, or courts, lodging houses, inns, rooming houses, and all other facilities where rooms or sleeping facilities or space are furnished for a consideration, but “hotel” shall not be defined so as to include hospitals, sanitariums or nursing homes, or private residences or apartments, unless such private residences or apartments are rented on a nightly basis and not occupied by permanent residents.

CONSIDERATION: The cost of the room, sleeping space, bed or dormitory space or other facilities in such hotel and shall not include the cost of any food served or personal services rendered to the occupant not related to cleaning and readying such room or space for occupancy, and shall not include any tax assessed for occupancy thereof by any other governmental agency.

OCCUPANCY: The use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any room, space or sleeping facility in a hotel for any purpose.

OCCUPANT: Anyone who, for consideration, uses, possesses, or has a right to use or possess any room or rooms or sleeping space or facility in a hotel under any lease, concession, permit, right of access, license, contract, or agreement.

PERSON:  Any individual, company, corporation, or association owning, operating, managing, or controlling any hotel.

CITY SECRETARY: The city secretary of the City of Seymour.

MONTHLY PERIOD:  Monthly period shall be the calendar month.

Permanent Resident: Any occupant who has or shall have the right to occupancy of any room or rooms or sleeping space or facility in a hotel for at least (30) consecutive days during the current calendar year or preceding year.

LEVY OF TAX;RATE;USE;EXCEPTIONS: There is hereby levied a tax upon the cost of occupancy of any rooms or space furnished by any hotel where such cost of occupancy is at the rate of two dollars ($2.00) or more per day.  Such tax is to be equaled to seven percent (7%) of the price paid by the occupant of such room, space or facility to such hotel or motel, exclusive of other occupancy taxes imposed by other governmental agencies.

Unless otherwise directed by the city council, the funds received from the tax levied under subsection (1) shall be placed in the general fund of the city.

No tax shall be imposed hereunder upon a permanent resident.

No tax shall be imposed hereunder upon a corporation or association organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, or educational purposes, no part of the net earnings of which insures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

COLLECTION: Every person owning, operating, managing, or controlling any hotel shall collect the tax imposed in subsection (b) herein for the city.

REPORTS:  On the last day of the month, following each calendar monthly report, every person required to collect the tax imposed herein, shall file a report with the City of Seymour showing the consideration paid for all room occupancies in the preceding month, the amount of tax collected on such occupancies and any other information as the city may reasonably require.  Such person shall pay the tax due on such occupancies at the time of filing such report.

A Quarterly Report given to City Council regarding application approvals by the board and monies distributed to organizations or individuals.

HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX REVENUE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

The city council hereby appoints a hotel occupancy tax revenue board consisting of a minimum of five-seven (5-7) members. The members of the board shall be as follows:

A minimum of three (3) members appointed by the city council.

One (1) or two (2) members of the City Council.

The city administrator or his or her designee; and

The executive director of the Chamber of Commerce or his or her designee. (The executive director serves as a non-voting member.)

The board will provide quarterly reports to the City Council listing the hotel occupancy tax expenditures.  The board shall maintain complete and accurate financial records for every expenditure of hotel occupancy tax revenue, and upon the request of the municipality, and make the records available for inspection and review.

PURPOSE OF BOARD:The board shall exclusively approve and/or deny applications made for expenditures of hotel occupancy tax revenue collected by the City of Seymour.

TERMS OF BOARD MEMBERS:  The board members shall be appointed for two (2) year terms and may be removed and/or replaced by the city council at the discretion of the council. 

LAWFUL EXPENDITURES: The hotel occupancy tax revenue received by the city may be used only to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry. All expenditures of hotel occupancy tax revenue must meet the following two-part test:

1.Directly enhance and promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry in the city; and

2.Must clearly fit into at least one of the statutorily provided categories as set forth in section 351.101 of the Texas Tax Code.

APPLICATION PROCESS: The council appointed board shall consider/approve and or deny applications submitted for use of the hotel occupancy tax revenue on the application forms provided by the Executive Director of the HOT Board.

All receipts from the approved funds shall be turned in before any new funds will be approved for the requesting organization.

The organization may be asked to make a formal presentation to the Hotel Board showing how the request complies with state and municipal laws.

No later than 60 days after the event or completion of the project, the organization must submit a Post Event Report Form. Failure to submit the report will preclude any future funding to that organization.

TEXAS OPEN MEETINGS ACT.  The board is subject to and shall follow the posting and meeting requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act is required.

PENALTIES:  If any person shall fail to collect the tax imposed herein or shall fail to file a report as required herein or shall fail to pay to the City of Seymour the tax as imposed herein, when said report for payment is due, or shall file a false report, then such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $200.00. in addition, such person who fails to remit the tax imposed by this article within the time required shall forfeit 5% of such tax, provided, however, that the penalty shall never be less than $1.00.

Delinquent taxes shall draw interest at the rate of 7% per annum, beginning 60 days from the due date.

SAVINGS CLAUSE:  Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this ordinance be declared to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected hereby.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This ordinance shall become effective February 17, 2023, upon its approval.

PASSED AND APPROVED ON THIS THE 16th DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2023.

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Mayor Jon Hrncirik,  City of Seymour

ATTEST:

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City Secretary, Conchita Torrez, TRMC