Texas A&M hotel and conference center will not seek tax exemption, Chancellor John Sharp says | Local News

A&M hotel and conference center set to contribute to hotel occupancy tax

Texas A&M University System officials announced Monday the forthcoming hotel and conference center being constructed on the College Station campus will not seek to be exempt from the local hotel occupancy tax.

In a statement, A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said the public-private project is expected to “provide a new revenue stream to the community” once it is up and running, thanks to the out-of-town visitors it will likely attract.

He said the move to forego a request for exemption came at the request of Brazos County Judge Duane Peters.

A&M System Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs Phillip Ray said community support is an important aspect of the public-private projects that have been pursued by A&M in recent years.

“I think these (public-private partnership) projects, under the chancellor’s leadership, not only move the university forward, but the community as well,” Ray said. “At the end of the day, it’s a win-win.”

Ray said the Century Square development — another recently developed public-private project that includes two other hotels set to contribute to the hotel occupancy tax, being developed on University Drive across from campus — is expected to bring “up to $300 million of taxable property to the tax rolls when completed.” He expects the forthcoming hotel’s contribution to the hotel occupancy tax to be comparable to that of the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in College Station.

Peters said he agreed the move to add the properties to the tax rolls will be beneficial for all parties.

“For the first time in history, Texas A&M is putting property on the tax rolls instead of taking it off,” Peters said. “Under the law, there are ways Texas A&M could have kept Century Square off the tax rolls but chose not to. Never before has the A&M System been so community-minded.”

Peters said while much of the university’s land is tax-exempt, it contributes as an economic driver for the area and serves as an attractive feature for businesses that may not have otherwise been interested in the region.

“They add a lot to our community, lots of jobs and lots of folks paying sales tax,” Peters said. “If the university was located in another county, Brazos County would probably be a small county. We are the hub of our surrounding counties, and…

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