AudioGamez: How a Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zone is going to help downtown Brownsville

Everything state Rep. Erin Gamez said at the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce’s 88th Legislative Update Luncheon.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – State Rep. Erin Gamez said the regular session of the 88th Legislature was “incredible.”

The Brownsville Democrat said she and her staff “did a lot of amazing things.”

In remarks at Brownsville Chamber of Commerce’s 88th Legislative Update Luncheon, Gamez highlighted her work to help Brownsville keep more of its hotel occupancy taxes for the purpose of redevelopment of its downtown.

“This session was incredible. I still can’t believe that it is my second real session, but we did a lot of amazing things,” Gamez said.

“I want to take a minute to talk in particular about how excited we are for the renovations that are going on in downtown Brownsville. In particular, one bill that I’m extremely excited about that I could not have done without Senator (Morgan) LaMantia and without the support of my colleagues is our Qualified Hotel Projects Zone that we’ve worked on.”

Gamez said many Brownsville and Cameron County leaders came to the state Capitol to support this legislation. At the Brownsville Chamber event she gave a shoutout to Brownsville Mayor John Cowen, Brownsville City Manager Helen Ramirez, and Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr.

“Thank you to everyone that came up and advocated for this legislation. Brownsville is now going to be on the map with the rest of the big cities we see in Texas. Like, if anyone’s gone to Houston and stayed at a hotel near Minute Maid Park or near NRG. If you take out your bill and you look at it you’ll see that you’re in some sort of investment zone.”

With the new legislation championed by Gamez and LaMantia, Brownsville will have the same opportunity to recoup hotel occupancy tax just like Houston.

“So now, in downtown Brownsville, we will have our first Tax Incremental Reinvestment Zone downtown that is estimated to generate and keep in Brownsville an estimated $80 million for the development of downtown Brownsville, as opposed to it being sent back to the state,” Gamez said.

“I can assure you in the next decade the city of Brownsville will have the tools to change the face of Brownsville unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and it’s going to happen in our lifetime.”

Here is an audio recording of Rep. Gamez’s remarks at the Brownsville Chamber event:

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