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The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Supports Venue Tax Initiatives

SAN ANTONIO, TX. — The Chamber’s Board of Directors adopted a statement of support for the extension of the Bexar County Venue Tax (or Visitor Tax) on Thursday, January 24.

The Board determined that the proposals for the extension are in line with The Chamber’s 2007 Pathway to a Great City report, which includes suggestions to make San Antonio not just another big city but a Great City through several methods such as: improvements to the AT&T Center, a Cultural and Performing Arts Center, more Amateur Sports Venues, to name a few. Through the approved statement, The Chamber supports extending the tax and encourages the Court to make a commitment to retire the debt as quickly as possible.

Additionally, the appointment of a Citizen’s Oversight Committee is encouraged, given the size of the proposed tax extension.

Finally, The Chamber believes it is also important to the local business community that the County place a priority on the use of local companies for the development of the visitor tax projects. The tax package will be resented to voters as four separate ballot items.

The last day to register to vote for the May 10, 2008 election is April 10. Early voting begins April 28, 2008. For more information on the Visitor Tax extension, please visit www.actforsanantonio.com.

Visitor Tax: A Closer Look at the San Antonio River Improvements Project

The Visitor Tax package will be presented to voters as four separate ballot items on the May 10, 2008 ballot. In the coming weeks we will be highlighting each of the four ballot items and providing details for each of the projects.

The San Antonio River Improvement Project is a proposed 13-mile linear park running from Brackenridge Park to Mission Espada; intended to serve as a premier tourist attraction and help meet the recreation needs of residents.

Pending voter approval, the San Antonio River Improvements Project would receive $125 million of the $415 million in total revenue from the visitor tax extension. The River Improvement Project encompasses five distinct areas of the river called “reaches”,
1) Historical Mission Reach,
2) Eagleland Segment,
3) Downtown Reach, and
4) Museum Reach. The Museum Reach is further divided into two segments, the Urban Segment and the Park Segment.

There are a number of partners working on this significant project. The River Foundation is working to raise $40 million; the City and County have committed $75 million and $50 million respectively. The Army Corps of Engineers have earmarked $75 million for the Mission Reach portion of the project, but there is no guarantee the federal budget will pass with the requested funds included.

The visitor tax revenue would jump-start the project to ensure it will get done on time. Both Judge Wolff and Mayor Hardberger have placed the San Antonio River improvements Project as a top priority for our region.

For more information about the River Project, visit www.sanantonioriver.org/

"The River represents our heritage in San Antonio. Literally as well as symbolically, this project knits our community together from North to South. It connects our past to our future. -Mayor Phil Hardberger “

Search: Chamber of Commerce. 602 East Commerce Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205.