Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 15, 2016
Sen. Eddie Fields
Governor signs bill to boost tourism throughout state
Legislation was signed into law this week to promote
growth in Oklahoma’s third largest industry, tourism. Senate
Bill 1206, by Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Gary Banz, authorizes the
creation of an additional class of improvement districts within
municipalities for tourism purposes including providing marketing
services for public or private events, if those events can be reasonably
expected to increase occupancy at a hotel or motel within the district.
Fields explained that Improvement Districts have been a key tool
for Oklahoma’s cities and neighborhoods to invest in critical
improvements. Instead of a broad tax impacting everyone in a city,
Improvement Districts allow those who benefit the most to assess
themselves to pay for improvements.
“More and more cities across the country are turning to Improvement
Districts as a tool to boost their tourism efforts and attract visitors
and events to their community,” said Fields, R-Wynona. “Without
this type of tool, cities and towns in Oklahoma will increasingly
lose out on large events, conferences and tourists, which means
lost sales tax for both the state and local communities as well
as lost jobs in the tourism, restaurant, hotel and entertainment
There are currently more than 123 cities in Texas, Montana, Kansas,
Louisiana, South Dakota, California, Washington, Oregon, Iowa and
Pennsylvania that have used Improvement Districts to invest in their
tourism industry and strengthen their local economies, raising over
$230 million for destination marketing each year.
The bill had the support of numerous tourism, hotel and marketing
associations including the Metro Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association
as well as community welcome centers from around the state, chambers
of commerce and other business entities.
The new law will go into effect November 1, 2016.
For more information,
Sen. Fields: (405) 521-5581