Cities concerned about their ability to leverage state funds to attract large sporting events have the opportunity to comment on an attorney general opinion request.

Last March, Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson requested an opinion from the Texas attorney general relating to “whether the selection of a site for an event prior to submission of a statutorily-required application precludes the event from receiving monies from the Major Event Trust Fund.”

The Major Events Trust Fund (METF) is a program administered by the comptroller to offer incentive funding that helps Texas cities and counties host major sporting events and conventions.  After a site selection organization receives an application from a city or county and chooses to bring an event to Texas instead of another state, the city or county can apply for funding from the METF to offer as an incentive to the organization.  The money spent from the METF is repaid into the fund in part by cities and counties through incremental sales tax, mixed beverage tax, and/or hotel occupancy tax gains that result from the major event that takes place.   

Recently, the administration of the METF by the comptroller has garnered some political attention.  It appears that the attention led to Commissioner Patterson’s request, which relates to the use of METF dollars to attract a Formula 1 race to central Texas.

Cities with an interest in METF funds may wish to comment on the opinion request, which is available at:

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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