The City has two props on the ballot this election, one dealing with the use of City-owned land for sports or entertainment facilities and one dealing with the City's Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) in relation to a convention center expansion. Both have faced lawsuits regarding their ballot wording.
First up is Proposition A. Prop A is a citizen initiative that seeks to require a city council supermajority and voter approval for the use of City-owned land for any sports or entertainment facility. It would include the sale, transfer or lease of City land and any grants for site development permits.
Prop A was put on the ballot in response to the City's deal for the construction of Austin FC's stadium at McKalla Place. In August, a lawsuit was filed related to the ballot language for Prop A, stating that the language swayed voters against the prop.
Here's how Prop A will look on your ballot:
"Shall a city ordinance be adopted that requires that a sale, lease, conveyance, mortgage, or other alienation of City-owned land for any existing or future youth, recreational, or professional sports facility or any existing or future entertainment facility be approved by a supermajority vote of council (9 of 11 members) and also be approved by the voters at an election for which the City must pay; requires that any site development permits and variances related thereto be approved by a supermajority vote of council (9 of 11 members); requires that site development permits and variances related thereto be approved by the voters at an election for which the City must pay, if the sale, lease, conveyance, mortgage, or other alienation of City-owned land for the facility has not already obtained voter approval; requires that the facility post payment and performance bonds and pay ad valorem taxes, or payments equal to the amount of ad valorem taxes; and requires that all information concerning such sale, lease, conveyance, mortgage, or other alienation shall be disclosed to the public?"
See the video below for an explainer on Prop A:
Then there's Proposition B. Prop B is also a citizen initiative, which calls for a cap of 34% on how much of the City's Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) can be put toward expanding the Austin Convention Center. It also sets forth how to reallocate the rest of the HOT funds and requires voter approval for all convention center improvements totaling more than $20 million.
In July, the political action committee Unconventional Austin collected enough signatures on a petition in support of an ordinance to dictate the use of HOT revenue and require voter approval for any significant convention center expansion. The petition called for limiting the HOT spending for the convention center to no more than one-third of the revenue. It also called for a public vote if the expansion costs more than $20 million.
Rather than adopting the ordinance language, the city council voted to send it to voters as Prop B.
Here's how Prop B will look on your ballot:
"Shall an ordinance be adopted that prioritizes the use of Austin's Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue by continuing the city practice to spend 15% of the Austin Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue on cultural arts and 15% on historic preservation, limiting the City's spending to construct, operate, maintain or promote the Austin Convention Center to 34% of Austin's Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue, and requiring all remaining Hotel Occupancy Tax revenue to support and enhance Austin's Cultural Tourism Industry to the potential exclusion of other allowable uses under the tax code; and requires the City to obtain voter approval and public oversight for convention center improvement end expansion costing more than $20,000,000"
See the video below for an explainer on Prop B.
Election Day is Nov. 5. Early voting runs from Monday, Oct. 21 to Friday, Nov. 1.
You can stay up to date with all the latest election news by visiting the Vote Texas section of our website at KVUE.com/votetexas!
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