Bexar County Commissioners in San Antonio have approved a list of potential projects that could be funded with a continuation of the venue tax that is set to expire by 2012 if not reauthorized by voters.
Commissioners are expected to ask voters in May to reauthorize the tax to cover the list of projects, which is valued at $415 million. The list was compiled by citizens committees specializing in the areas considered for funding.
One of the prime beneficiaries of the extended tax on hotel rooms and rental cars would be the San Antonio River Walk, which ranks as one of the city’s top tourism attractions. Local governments, including the city, county, and the San Antonio River Authority, are in the process of extending the walk to the north and south using a combination of federal and local dollars, along with private contributions.
Commissioners last week also approved $100 million for a performing arts center complex, $80 million for 13 amateur sport facilities, and $75 million for improvements to AT&T Center where the San Antonio Spurs basketball team plays. The venue tax was approved by voters in 1999 to build the center, which was completed in 2002 at a cost of $175 million. The venue tax backed county-issued bonds for the arena. Debt service on the bonds is set to expire between 2009 and 2012, at which time the venue tax will either end or continue under voter reauthorization.