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Law signed allowing Memphis to send more hotel tax to FedExForum renovations

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(The Center Square) – Memphis and Shelby County can now change the distribution of a county hotel tax to send more toward FedExForum renovations.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed House Bill 2868 late Tuesday afternoon.

Senate and House sponsors of the bill said it would allow the completion of renovations at the arena, home to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The bills allow Shelby County and Memphis to change the allocation of hotel-tax funds but does not change the tax rate.

The Tennessee Legislature contributed $350 million in last year’s budget for renovations at the FedExForum and Liberty Bowl.

Memphis Tourism is currently funded through the 8.5% hotel-motel tax in Shelby County. It is set to receive $12.3 million of the estimated $17.5 million that will be collected in 2023-24, according to the Daily Memphian.

An adjustment to the allocation of those funds would cap Memphis Tourism at receiving 61.2% of the overall hotel-motel tax collections moving forward.

The state legislative bill would allow Shelby County to make that change.

Memphis Tourism has $27 million in reserves, with $9 million of that funding allocated to expenses. The group’s annual budget is $14 million, according to the Daily Memphian.