The Lost Pines Knife Show is a family-friendly event showcasing dozens of Texas knifemakers selling their custom-made knives, live knifemaking and blacksmithing demos, live music and food trucks! Try your hand at axe throwing or forge your own horseshoe knife! Don't miss Central Texas' largest knife show this weekend September 30 - October 1!

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2023 - 2024 
HOT Fund Application

Eligibility and Guidelines

Texas Tax Code Chapter 351 allows the City of Bastrop to collect Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) from hotels, bed & breakfasts, and other lodging facilities. Under state law, the revenue from the HOT may be used only to directly promote tourism and the hotel and convention industry.

The purpose of the City of Bastrop Hotel Occupancy Tax application is to provide HOT funds as a resource to organizations who are hosting tourism related events that will bring visitors to Bastrop for overnight stays in Bastrop hotels and lodging facilities. The City of Bastrop has authorized for Visit Bastrop to conduct the process and approval of all HOT fund applications.

The Texas Tax Code provides a two-part test for every expenditure of HOT revenue. In order to qualify for HOT funding, applications must meet Criteria # 1 AND fit into one of the seven allowable uses of the tax as required by state law.

Criteria # 1 Every expenditure must DIRECTLY enhance and promote tourism AND the convention and hotel industry.
   In other words, the expenditure must be likely to attract visitors from outside Bastrop into the city or its vicinity and must have some impact on convention and hotel activity. If the expenditure is not reasonably likely to accomplish this result, it is not eligible for funding by HOT revenues. The funds must be for an event with attendees.

Criteria # 2 Every expenditure must clearly fit into one of seven statutorily provided categories.

Expenditure Categories

  1. Funding the establishment, improvement, or maintenance of a convention center or visitor information center
  2. Paying the administrative costs for facilitating convention registration
  3. Paying for advertising, solicitaions, and promotions that attract tourists and convention delegates to the county or its vicinity
  4. Expenditures that promote the arts. Please note that it is not enough that a facility or event promotes the arts; state law requires that the expenditure also must be likely to directly promote tourism and the hotel and convention industry.
  5. Funding historical restoration or preservation programs
  6. Funding certain expenses, including promotional expenses, directly related to a sporting event 
  7. Signage directing tourists to sights and attractions frequently visited by hotel guests

Additional Guidelines

City Article: Advertising or promotion of an event prior to the issuance of the city permit is not allowed.
See: ARTICLE 4.06 - SPECIAL EVENTS PERMITS, PUBLIC GATHERINGS AND PARADES Sec. 4.06.004 - Date of special event not confirmed until permit issued.

Date Restrictions

Since the purpose of the HOT fund award is to attract visitors to Bastrop for overnight stays in Bastrop hotels, the funds will not be awarded for tourism-related events that occur during times of peak hotel occupancy. All date restrictions will be identified prior to the fiscal year in which HOT funds are being awarded and are listed below:

1. Formula 1 - 
2. Austin City Limits - 
3. SXSW -
4. MotoGP - 

Submission Deadlines

Application packets must be fully completed and submitted to Visit Bastrop minimum of 90 days prior to the tourism-related event. For an application packet to be considered complete the applicant must submit an application in its entirity, proposed event budget outlining use of HOT fund expenditures, marketing plan and advertising examples, and any other supporting documents. Applications submitted after the due date may not be accepeted or considered for funding.

Disclaimer: Hotel Occupancy Tax awards are not guaranteed. Requests for funding are issued on a first come, first served basis; determined by the date your application is received. All HOT fund applications must be reviewed for completeness and eligibility by the Visit Bastrop team and allocation of funds is awarded at the discretion of Visit Bastrop. Priority will be given to events based on their ability to generate overnight visitors to the hoteliers within Bastrop's Extraterritorial Jurisdiction. Visit Bastrop reserves the right to fund certain applications at 50% prior to the event and 50% once the event has been completed and the post report has been submitted in full. 

Applications that have received funding for three (3) consecutive years or three (3) consecutive times must provide documentation of the need for continued funding. Specifically describe how the use of funds has helped the event develop and expand; identifiy other sources of funding available; and how the absence of funds would place the continuation of the event in jeopardy. In addition, a plan must be provided to show how the applicant plans to end dependency on HOT funds for future marketing and advertising for the event.

Process and Timeline
  1. All applications will be reviewed by Visit Bastrop at the earliest possible regularly scheduled staff meeting or within 10 business days from the received date, whichever may come first. Staff meetings are generally held every Monday, excluding observed holidays. Assessment of your application is to ensure expenditures will directly promote City of Bastrop tourism and its lodging industry. Evaluation will be based on return on investment, economic impact, and positive community and hotel engagement using objective data submitted as part of the application.
  2. The applicant may be contacted to answer additional questions regarding the application information and expenditure details. Failure to complete the application in its entirity will delay the process. If additional information is required from the applicant and the response to Visit Bastrop exceeds 10 days from the time of request, the application will be considered null and void, and a new application will be required, and will be reevaluated with a new received date.
  3. Visit Bastrop will send notification via email to applicants informing them of the decision for funding by the Visit Bastrop team. This email will be sent within three (3) business days following the team's decision for funding.
    • Should your application be denied, you will receive a denial letter attached to the email.
    • Should your application be approved, the email will contain an approval letter, your completed application, and a contract for your signature. Your approval status will require for you to return the signed contract, an invoice for the amount you were awarded, and your W-9.
  4. Visit Bastrop must be listed as a sponsor on all marketing/advertising collateral. Visit Bastrop will provide all logo assets.
  5. The applicant is required to submit a completed post report within 60 days subsequent to the final day of your event along with all supporting receipts from eligible expenses. Failure to provide a valid, timely, accurate post report will result in the ineligibility for any remaining balance of funding for the current event and funding of future events.

The decision for either approval or denial of funding is final. Failure to receive funding in one budget year does not prevent a resubmission in the next budget year. Applicants receiving funding are entering into an agreement with the City of Bastrop and Visit Bastrop and are required to execute all subsequent documentation as described in the application process.


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