Council funds arts and historic groups for another six months

Main Street Texarkana Executive Director Ina McDowell addressing city council

The Texarkana, Texas City Council will continue funding local groups at 100 percent for at least the next six months.

Voting on the 80 percent tax cut to local art and humanities groups was tabled for now.

Also tabled until next time was a vote to put a 2 percent venue tax on Texas-side hotels and motels.

Assistant finance director Kristin Peeples told the council that the Texas Attorney General’s office  was not in support of that due to some local government codes that it is restricted by. “They have not closed the door to that option, but there are definitely some hurdles to cross.

Main Street Texarkana Executive Director Ina McDowell spoke to the council on behalf of Texarkana arts and historic organizations.

McDowell told the council that a survey conducted of Perot Theater attendees estimates that they have an economic impact of $7.5 million.  McDowell said that $7.5 million is 28 times what is spent coming back into the economy.

Council member Christy Paddock said that this is not a big conscious decision we are making to cut funding.  “The fact is the money that we traditionally give to these organizations is not available.”

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