HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX FUNDINGOrange County EDC
Applications are accepted throughout the year, but are ONLY reviewed in October for post event fund disbursement. If your application is approved during the review process, HOT Funds are distributed once your documentation has been received post event. Exceptions may apply for large city-wide events.
By law of the State of Texas, Orange County collects a Hotel Occupancy Tax from hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, and inns located in Orange County. Under state law, the revenue from the Hotel Occupancy Tax may be used only for specific tourism-related purposes. Tax funds may only be used if the two-part test is met. First, the funds must be used in a manner that encourages overnight visitors to Orange County. Secondly, expenditures must fall within one of the following categories:
1. Applicant organization must be a 501(C) organization with a government issued Tax Identification Number located within Orange County, Texas.
1. Convention Centers and Visitor Information Centers: the acquisition of sites for and the construction, improvement, enlarging, equipping, repairing, operation and maintenance of convention center facilities or visitor information centers, or both;
2. Registration of Convention Delegates: the furnishing of facilities, personnel, and materials for the registration of convention delegates or registrants;
3. Advertising, Solicitations and Promotions that Directly Promote Tourism and the Hotel and Convention Industry*: advertising and conducting solicitations and promotional programs to attract tourists and convention delegates or registrants to the county;
4. Promotions of the Arts that Directly Promote Tourism and the Hotel and Convention Industry: that the encouragement, promotion, improvement, and application of the arts, including instrumental and vocal music, dance, drama, folk art, creative writing, architecture, design and allied fields, painting, sculpture photography, graphic and craft arts, motion picture, radio, television, tape and sound recording, and other arts related to the presentation, performance, execution, and exhibition of these major art forms,
5. Historical Restoration and Preservation Activities that Directly Promote Tourism and the Hotel and Convention Industry: historical restoration and preservation projects or activities or advertising and conducting solicitation and promotional programs to encourage tourists and convention delegates to visit preserved historic sites or museums.
6. Sporting Event Expenses that Substantially Increase Economic Activity at Hotels: Expenses including promotional expenses, directly related to a sporting event in which the majority of participants are tourists who substantially increase economic activity at hotels and motels within the county.
7. Certain Portions of Sporting Facilities: Expenses for a certain percentage of a facility’s patrons that are directly contributing to increased local hotel activity.
8. Shuttle Services for Convention Activities: Shuttle services for an event is an eligible expense provided the shuttle services begins or terminates at a local hotel facility.
Jessica Hill, CEcD