Advocacy Updates

                                            


San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce Concerned Cite & Release Ordinance Could Hurt Business

Sent to San Marcos Council Members on April 21, 2020. 

SAN MARCOS, Texas – On April 7, 2020, San Marcos City Council members passed the first of two readings on an ordinance regarding arrests and citations. The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce has reviewed the proposed ordinance, and believes it could negatively impact small businesses.

“We believe items six and seven on the list of offenses would be extremely detrimental to local small business and the community in San Marcos,” said San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jason Mock.

Item six and seven states that rather than arrest, in appropriate circumstances, for individuals suspected of committing (6) theft of property or (7) theft of services, both Class B misdemeanors, San Marcos police officers will use the cite and release process.

“The same individual could continue to steal tangible or intangible items of property or services valued under $750 and be cited and released for each repeat offense,” said Mock. “The chamber does not support the ordinance as written as it will not allow the San Marcos Police Department to support and protect our local businesses.”

The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, along with its business members, strongly request and encourage the San Marcos City Council to NOT approve the Cite and Release Ordinance, but rather consider it as a Resolution.

Furthermore, we are also very concerned that Dr. Jocabed Marquez, who announced her resignation last month, will be allowed to vote on an issue that will continue to greatly impact the community after she is no longer living in San Marcos. There are many examples in the past where decisions on major issues were deferred until newly-elected council members were sworn in to service. In all fairness to the whole San Marcos community, the Cite and Release decision should be postponed until a new city council member is elected.


Letter to Texas Comptroller’s Office Regarding Distribution of Sales Tax Revenue of Online Sales

Sent to Glenn Hegar on February 26, 2020.

Texas Comptroller Hegar,

On behalf of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, representing more than 700 investors employing over 36,000 people. I am reaching out to you today with great concern to oppose the proposed changes to the distribution of sales tax revenue of online sales in Texas. The implications of redistributing these tax dollars away from the communities who currently rely upon them will create a direct and long-term negative impact on the quality of life of our residents. In addition, we oppose the proposed language that severely limits sales tax rebates under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code.

The intent of the proposed changes may be to “level the playing field.” However, these changes are likely to shift a higher proportion of sales tax revenue to larger and wealthier markets like Austin who have a higher median household income and more disposable income than smaller markets like San Marcos. According to the U.S. Census, Austin and San Marcos have median household incomes of $67,462 and $37,593, respectively.

In 2016, Best Buy E-Commerce located to San Marcos creating 40 new jobs and significant economic impact for the region. A Chapter 380 agreement was instrumental in securing the company, providing reinvestment rebates to Best Buy and much needed sales tax revenue for the growing city. San Marcos was ranked as the fastest growing city in the U.S from 2012- 2015 and is located in the fastest growing county in the nation with populations over 150,000 – Hays County (U.S. Census Bureau).

The proposed changes are expected to generate a net loss of $3.5 million to the City’s general fund budget of $89.9 million in FY2021. City Council will be forced to reduce funding for social services, park upkeep, street repair as well as other programs and service that enhance the quality of life in our community. Without ample time to conduct a thorough review of the businesses that will be impacted by the proposed changes, it is impossible for our community to fully realized the potential financial losses and other unintended consequences.

The State of Texas has continued to sustain record-breaking economic growth and job creation due to its strong reputation for providing a business-friendly environment. The proposed changes will void the Chapter 380 agreement the City of San Marcos has with Best Buy and many others across the State. This moment could be remembered as a significant point in time when Texas went back on its word and became a lot less business friendly.

On behalf of San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce, I respectfully request that you reconsider the proposed changes to the distribution of sales tax revenue of online sales in Texas and the language that severely limits sales tax rebates under Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code.

Sincerely,

Jason T. Mock
President & CEO
San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce