Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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February 20, 2014

Reviving the Baker

Overflow crowd at council meeting hears from Baker Hotel development team

(Continued)

This multi-million dollar project, spearheaded by Southlake businessman Laird Fairchild, has found nearly all the sources for funding, but there is still a ways to go. Enter the City of Mineral Wells and 4B Economic Development Sales Tax.

The plan is to establish a “Development Corporation” that can issue a $4 million bond, which the city will pay off over a period of time with a portion of sales tax revenue. The beauty behind this plan is that it won’t cost Mineral Wells citizens an extra cent, it is simply a reallocation of tax dollars.

“The 4B request is, I believe, a true asset to your town,” Fairchild said. “What it is, is a request to allocate certain sales dollars into an Economic Development Corporation that’s assigned, who then determines where those funds are spent.”

The projected funds raised by the 4B will be around $300,000 per year.

“[The] Economic Development Corporation will only authorize funds to us as they are needed at the hotel,” Fairchild said. “So, if for some reason – [not that] there is anything that would give me doubt – you are to approve this 4B, we have problems with the rest of the capitol stack – which I don’t believe we will – you still have an Economic Development Corporation and a fund that can be used for other projects that will help spur activity in this town.”

Howerton expounded on this notion by adding that a portion of sales tax would be reallocated to the 4B.

“It’s not an increase in the sales tax, it’s a reallocation of what we are proposing at this point of an eighth of a cent of our sales tax that would then be dedicated to this 4B Economic Development sales tax,” Howerton said. “Basically what the Baker group is asking is to have the 4B sales tax reallocation that would put us in a position at some point in the near future, hopefully this calendar year as Chad mentioned, to be in a position to issue bonds – this $4 million – to support the project. So the proposition that will potentially be on the ballet in May does not authorize the issuance of bonds – let’s make that very clear – but what it does, it would approve this reallocation of our existing sales tax... dedicated to an economic development fund. Any bonds that might be issued at a later time would be paid off by the revenues coming into the city through this 4B sales tax.”

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