By: Jonathan Trager | From: USAE News

The San Antonio City Council voted on December 12 to create a "project finance zone" that would fund improvement to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center or the Alamodome. 

The three-mile zone would capture state hotel revenue from downtown hotels and others. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the city stands to gain more than $222 million over the next 30 years for those upgrades. 

The agreement applies to the state's share of the zone's hotel occupancy tax, sales tax revenue, mixed beverage gross receipts tax revenue collected from hotels and businesses located within hotels. 

San Antonio CFO Ben Gorzell said the state accumulates the funds in a suspended account and then releases them to the city when it's ready to move forward on the projects. 

"The statute references venues, an arena is a venue, but we're designating this zone basd on these two qualified projects," said Gorzell, acording to the San Antonio Report. "A lot more legal work would have to be doneif the funds were to be used for projects other than the Alamodome and convention center, he added.

If the city doesn't start a qualifying project within five years of the zone's establishment, the zone will be terminated. Any funds that have already been captured would return to the state. 

Other major Texas cities that use a "project finance zone" to fund projects benegfitting tourism include Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston.