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Appearing before the Childress City Council during the public comment portion of its Aug. 24 meeting, Doc Smith, executive director, Childress Municipal Development District Office of Economic Development, requested the council consider allocating more funds from the Hotel Occupancy Tax to the Mashburn Event Center.
“There are some critics of the MDD and of the event center, as well as a lot of misinformation being circulated during this election season, but here are some facts that the council and the citizens of Childress need to be reminded of,” Smith said.
Smith presented the following statements:
“The Mashburn Event Center is owned by the City of Childress NOT the MDD.
The MDD only manages the facility for the City. We do not have a management contract, and the city can take it back at any time.
The Childress Hotel Tax is seven percent of the nightly room rentals at our 11 motels.
The City allocates 30 percent of the HOT tax money received to fund operating costs of the event center such as insurance, utilities, tractor lease, janitorial, supplies and facility repairs.
The event center manager’s salary is paid out of expo hall, arena and stall revenues not out of HOT tax.
Any operating losses in excess of the facility revenues and HOT tax allocation are funded by the MDD.
All capital improvements, such as the covered stall barn, are funded by either private donations or by the MDD and not by the City of Childress.
Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2018, when the event center was managed by the City, the facility incurred an operating loss of $105,152 after HOT tax and after a $40,000 contribution from the MDD/EDC.
Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2019 while operated by the MDD, the facility incurred an operating loss of a mere $8,572.36 after the 30 percent HOT tax allocation. For the current Fiscal Year ended September 30, 2020, during pandemic shutdowns and COVID-19 cancellations, we project a loss of between $14,000 and $15,000 in excess of our 30 percent HOT tax allocation. Had we not been hit with the pandemic, our bookings would have provided us a solid net income for the year.
Now as to the HOT tax allocation, (with the blessings of the Governor and the county Judge) the STS Youth Rodeo held last weekend at the event center, had 150 individual contestants registered, comprising 650 entries in the various rodeo events.
Listen carefully – of the 150 contestants at this event, there were four participants from Childress, 121 participants were from elsewhere in Texas, 25 participants came from other states including South Carolina, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Tennessee and Louisiana.
The event center puts more “heads in beds” than any of the venues receiving HOT tax, yet we are only allocated 30 percent of the HOT tax and some on the council and in the audience want that amount reduced.
Whether you like the MDD or dislike the MDD, we believe the benefit to the City is undeniable and our HOT tax allocation should be continued at its current level.”