Taxes must be collected on vacation rentals

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

July 21, 2021

Hill County officials are reminding those who rent rooms or homes to guests that they are required to collect state hotel occupancy taxes.

Hotel owners, operators or managers must collect state hotel occupancy tax from their guests who rent a room or space in a hotel costing $15 or more each day.

The tax applies not only to hotels and motels, but also to bed and breakfasts, condominiums, apartments and houses.
Local hotel taxes apply to sleeping rooms costing $2 or more each day. The local county occupancy tax is three percent for Hill County and is due quarterly.

The Hill County percentage applies to all authorized entities outside of the city jurisdictions.

With the numerous sporting, lake and entertainment events around the county, many homeowners rent their homes or rooms in their homes to people attending these events.

Those leasing their houses must collect hotel occupancy tax from their customers in the same way a hotel or motel collects the tax from its guests.

Property management companies, online travel companies and other third-party rental companies can be directed to collect the tax for you to ensure compliance.

Those owners collecting state hotel/motel tax must also assess their responsibility for collecting Hill County local tax.

For more information, visit,, and

Local resident wins Dr Pepper prize

In honor of The Dr Pepper Museum’s 30th birthday, the museum picked two winners of a year’s supply of Dr Pepper, and one of the winners was Pat Boswell, a Whitney resident. Boswell said she started drinking Dr Pepper in 1991 and has been a fan of the drink ever since. Her prize was 365 cans of Dr Pepper, which were dropped off at her home in Whitney courtesy of Keurig Dr Pepper Waco. Susan Corbin, Boswell’s daughter and a fellow Dr Pepper fan, was present to see her mom receive the prize.

Marcia Ball coming to Bosque Arts

Austin rhythm and blues legend Marcia Ball will perform with her band at the Bosque Arts Center in Clifton Saturday, July 10. Visit or call 254-675-3724 for details.

The Bosque Arts Center in Clifton will welcome legendary rhythm and blues pianist Marcia Ball and her band Saturday, July 10, at 7 p.m. Often compared to Fats Domino and Memphis Slim, Ball plans to “rock the Bosque” when she comes to Clifton.

“I have a feeling the Bosque Arts Center is not among the smallest places I have played,” says Ball, when asked her opinion of playing in small settings. “The intimacy of a show in a smaller venue allows us to slow down a bit, talk about our songs and what inspired them—really feel a connection to the audience.

“That doesn’t mean we won rock the Bosque,” she added. “Our music is rhythm and blues with the emphasis on the rhythm.”

The concert, originally scheduled for March 14 and postponed due to COVID-19, still has tickets available. General admission seats are $25, while reserved seats at tables are $50; they may be purchased online at or by calling 254-675-3724. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with food and beverages for sale.

Born in Texas, Ball and her family moved to Louisiana when she was a child. The piano player has incorporated in her music a popular blend of the New Orleans/Texas influences. She wound up in Austin in the ‘70s, where she put down roots and remained.

“My first husband and I were heading from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to San Francisco with flowers in our hair in the spring of 1970 when we stopped in Austin to visit some friends,” she said. “Our Austin-Healey Sprite needed some attention, so while we were attending to that we were toured around the area.”

On the third night of their stay, they attended a house party near UT “where there were more hippies than we had ever seen in one place,” Ball says. “On the front porch, a handsome older (than us) gentleman was playing guitar and singing. It was Bill Neely, and I was blown away. I thought, if I can live in a town where I can hear music like this, I don’t need to go anywhere else.”

In Austin, Ball has made her mark in various genres, contributing to the Outlaw Country movement of the early ‘70s and continuing to log milestones in music. She was inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame in 2018.

“My friends Irma Thomas, Tracy Nelson, Shelley King and Carolyn Wonderland joined me in performance that night. Very memorable,” she says.

Other memorable performances for her include playing at the White House and Knott’s Berry Farm with the Original Texas Playboys.

“My first time at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1978 was the largest crowd I had ever performed for at that time,” she said, citing another notable concert. “I have played every year but one since then.”

One of the things she loves about playing live, Ball says, is the connection to the crowd. “For me, the interaction between the audience and the band is the most energizing thing about being a musician. It’s the essential element of being an entertainer. I like to see the effect our music has on the listeners and, hopefully, the dancers.”