The Centennial Building in Fair Park (Photo by Andreas Praefcke, via Wikipedia)

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, state Sen. Royce West, state Rep. Victoria Neave Criado and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert are all set to appear Thursday, Sept. 15, at a press conference to kicked off the “Vote Yes for Prop A” campaign in Dallas. The press conference begins at 10 a.m. at the Canvas Hotel, 1325 Botham Jean Blvd.

Prop A supporters said the ballot measure gives Dallas residents a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalize Fair Park and expand the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, two of Dallas’ biggest attractions for travel and tourism when they cast their ballots Nov. 8.”

Fair Park is the site of the annual Pride celebrations in Dallas — The Music Festival and the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade — held the first weekend each June.

The $1.5 billion initiative, known as Proposition A, asks citizens to vote for a “tourist tax” that is, in essence, a 2 percent increase in the hotel occupancy tax paid by visitors staying overnight in Dallas hotels and motels.” The city’s residents, supporters said in a press release, “would reap the benefits of modernizing these venues but would pay no increase in property or sales taxes.”

Supporters say that if approved, Prop A will create more than 50,000 job, “bring Fair Park into the 21st century with $300 million worth of renovations and repairs and double the capacity and expected revenue of the KBHCCD with a $1.2 billion investment in the expansion. The extensive improvements are projected to drive billions of dollars into the local economy, strengthen neighborhoods surrounding Fair Park and Downtown, and better connect the Central Business District to southern Dallas.”

The tourist tax mechanism was formerly used to fund construction of the American Airlines Center and allowed the city of Dallas to completely pay off the debt 15 years earlier than expected.
The last day to register to vote in the November election is Tuesday, Oct. 11. Early voting starts on Monday, Oct. 24. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

More information is available here.

— Tammye Nash