You have probably read about it. The City of Fort Worth is in the process of building a 600-room, $120 million hotel downtown complete with a restaurant, health club and 500 parking spaces. But city taxpayers have had no input into the project nor have they been provided opportunity to vote on the taxpayer-subsidized project.
But do you know the details? Do you know what this project could cost taxpayers? Fort Worth taxpayers deserve to know the details of the City’s plans to build this subsidized convention hotel and restaurant. And no plan should move forward without the approval of the citizens of Fort Worth.
Taxpayers should demand to be informed on unresolved issues such as cost overruns and the coverage of losses could burden Fort Worth taxpayers. If they build it and it loses money, who pays?
This city-owned hotel complex risks Fort Worth’s tax base, stretches limited resources and risks financial security.
Bond underwriters would likely expect the City to pledge its portion of the hotel occupancy taxes to the project. And even if the City didn’t have to pledge any form of tax revenue, any default would have a negative impact on the City’s credit rating, meaning higher interest rates in the future. If hotel revenue fails to materialize for any reason, taxpayers lose out in the form of reduced services or increased taxes. It’s that simple.
The mayor may want to leave a legacy but a legacy of debt isn’t going to endear him to taxpayers.
Another concern we have is that city government should not compete with the private sector. When a city begins competing with private businesses it creates an unfair playing field. In this project, restaurant owners, hoteliers and business owners in the downtown area will have to compete with a subsidized city project that is not paying taxes.
Cities across the country are realizing the pitfalls of the ‘if we build it, they will come’ approach, and taxpayers are left holding the bag.
Elected officials in the City of Fort Worth need to put this project to a vote of the city taxpayers.
And you have the power to make it happen.
Take action! Sign the petition to call for a referendum, visit the web site: