City Council approves hotel tax to raise funds to boost tourism to San Antonio

It's a big year for many of the places that the city is best known for, like the Tower of the Americas, which is 50 this year. (SBG San Antonio)

City Council approved a measure to charge hotel guests a new 1.25% occupancy tax that would go toward promoting the city.

Visitors to San Antonio already pay hotel occupancy taxes of 16.75%. The additional tax, approved on Thursday, would raise funds for tourist marketing efforts.

Several hotel owners support the measure, while council member Rey Saldana opposed it. He wanted some of the funds to toward programs fighting homelessness.

One Visit San Antonio board member agrees homelessness is an important issue, but he adds this tax money isn't the answer to the problem.

"We all work and live in the city. We all have to find a solution to this problem so I think it it’s a conversation that needs to continue but I think the solution is something that the entire community needs to be a part of not just one segment," said Rusty Wallace.

City staff estimated the tax will generate about $10 million annually for the next eight years.

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