For literally years I’ve been ranting about Texas Municipal Code Chapter 334, the one that deals with sports venues. Most recently I invoked it to impugn the El Paso Times’ ability to render an unbiased editorial opinion on what’s good for El Paso.
My reading of the law concluded that the City couldn’t build a ballpark without the approval of the citizens, expressed through an election.
This weekend I got schooled. On the website El Paso Speak (elpasospeak.com), a commenter Carlos pointed out Section 334.0082
Sec. 334.0082. VENUE PROJECTS IN CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES. (a) This section applies only to a municipality that:
(1) has a population of at least 176,000 that borders the Rio Grande, and that approved a sports and community venue project before January 1, 2009; or
(2) is located in a county adjacent to the Texas-Mexico border if:
(A) the county has a population of at least 500,000;
(B) the county does not have a city located within it that has a population of at least 500,000; and
(C) the municipality is the largest municipality in the county described by this subdivision.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, including Section 334.089, after complying with Section 334.022, a municipality to which this section applies may hold an election under Section 334.024 on the question of approving and implementing a resolution to:
(1) authorize the municipality to plan, acquire, establish, develop, construct, or renovate a convention center and related infrastructure in the city limits of the municipality as part of an existing or previously approved sports and community venue project, regardless of whether the convention center is located on the premises of the existing or previously approved venue project;
(2) impose a tax under Subchapter H at a rate not to exceed two percent of the cost of a room; and
(3) authorize the municipality to finance, operate, and maintain the venue project described by Subdivision (1), including the convention center, using the revenue from any taxes imposed by the municipality under this chapter, including taxes previously approved in relation to the existing or previously approved venue project.
(c) If the resolution is approved by a majority of the votes cast in the election, the municipality may implement the resolution.
This raises a whole new set of questions, but I won’t get into those here, now. For now, let me apologize to any readers I may have led astray.