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O + HaysFreePress.corn March 22,2017 Page 1D Legislation may send hotel tax dollars to sports facilities BY QUIXEM RAMIREZ news@haysfreepress.com Buda is working with Texas representatives to allow funds from the hotel occupancy tax (HOT) to be used toward improving sports-related facilities and venues. The over-arching goals of House Bill 2354, filed Feb. 23 are to incentivize tourism and increase the number of people spend- ing time in Buda hotels. Chance Sparks, assistant city manager, calls this putting "heads in beds." Sparks said Buda earned $637,656.82 from the hotel occupancy tax in the 2015-16 fiscal year, up about $14,000 from its total during the 2014-15 fiscal year. The money from the tax, Sparks said, can't be used towards a sporting facility because the law limits the use of these funds. After canvassing the local hotels for informa- tion, Sparks said the city discovered youth sporting tournaments correlate with increased spending in the tourism industry. Parents and kids need places to sleep for these tournaments, meaning there are more heads in Buda hotel beds. "When you get families coming in for soccer tournaments or lacrosse, there're people that have to eat, buy gas and shop while they are in town," said Terry Franks, chief of staff for Texas Rep. Jason Isaac (R- Dripping Springs). "It's an economic develop- ment tool, basically." The discussion began in Fall 2016 starting with city council. Officials referenced a similar bill passed in Bryan-College Station, which allowed funds from the hotel PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III A pair of soccer players vie for possession of the ball during the 2015 Kyle Copa Vive soccer tournament that was held in Kyle. Buda city officials hope legislation within the 85th Legislative session could allow for Hotel Occupancy Tax dollars to be used for sports recreation purposes. occupancy tax rate to be used in renovating Kyle Field. "Our bill was func- tionally identical to it," Sparks said. "If you see something that worked for someone else, there's no good sense in re- inventing the wheel." Months later, House Bill 2354 was filed to committee, with Isaac sponsoring the bill. If passed, city officials will be allowed to use the excess money from the tax toward its sporting HOT FUNDS, 4D $500,000 $400,000 $3O0,000 $200,000 $100,000 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 B Hampton Inn & Suites I Holiday Inn Express W Comfort Suites Microtel Inn & Suites I Best Western Inn & Suites SUBMI'FrED REPORT The hardest thing about upward mobility - the so-called American dream - is attaining it. Perhaps the second hardest thing is this: Once you've risen from a hard- scrabble upbringing and gained financial success, how do you pass the traits that helped get you there - hard work, accountabil- ity, passion and discipline - on to your children? The natural inclina- tion is to give them all the things you never had - and to shield them from the worries you experi- enced growing up. But that won't help them long term. "You can't duplicate your humble beginnings for them," says wealth management advisor RebeccaWalser of Walser Wealth. "But you can teach your kids the skills they'll need when they're making their own way in the world." Walser, a tax attorney and certified financial planner, says one of her earliest memories is of being four years old and Remind your children to keep need to use it. their money somewhere safe and hope they know when they flipping a light switch in 7 and 4 - haven't experi- thing for themselves. her home, only to have enced anything quite like "When we set a limit, nothing happen, that, but she still wants we set a limit," Walser "That's when I learned them to understand says. "Mom and Dad about money and bills, money. One way she ac-aren't going to bail them and that if you don't pay complishes that is they out if they are a quarter the electric bill, the lights get weekly allowances to short on a toy they want." won't come on," she says. cover their expenses, and Here are some other Her children- ages 9, they must budget every- tips Walser has for helping fortunate kids understand DON'T KEEP THE KIDS IN finances: THE DARK EXPERIMENT WITH DELAYED GRATIFICATION Remember the old Stan- ford Univer- sity "marsh- mallow experiments" from the 1960s and '70s? A child was offered a choice between one small but im- mediate re- ward (usually a marshmal- low) or two rewards if he or she could wait until the tester came back after about 15 minutesl In follow-up studies, the researchers found those who could Children often are unaware of all the unseen expenses that go into "You can't running a household. duplicate Make sure your humble they ow there's a cost beginnings for elect,c- ity, water, for them ... cable and But you can home main- tenance. teach your kids the skills they'll need when they're making their own way in the world." - Rebecca Walser, wealth management advisor with Walser Wealth walt longer tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, body mass index and educational success. KNOW YOUR NEEDS VS. WANTS How often have you heard your child say, "But I need those jeans!" There's a big difference between wanting a designer label and needing new pants. Tell your teen you'll give her a reason- able amount of money to FINANCIAL HABITS, 4D !; 1i{i !ii:i'