Rep. Zwiener’s HB 4158, ‘Hill Country Night Sky Tourism Bill,’ Becomes Law

Austin, TX — Dark Sky cities in the Texas Hill Country can now use their hotel occupancy tax dollars to protect the night sky. Representative Erin Zwiener’s (D-Driftwood) HB 4158 is now law and effective immediately. 

HB 4158, the Hill Country Night Sky Tourism bill, gives small cities in Hays and Blanco Counties another important tool to invest in local tourism efforts. This legislation recognizes the importance of dark skies to visitors and residents of the Hill Country and allows communities to use hotel occupancy tax funds to incentivize updating outdoor lighting.

“Hays and Blanco Counties are world class astrotourism destinations, and because of that our communities have invested in protecting our night skies,” said Rep. Zwiener. “I’m delighted that my bill will help dark skies cities like Blanco, Dripping Springs, and Wimberley to continue shining.”

A number of advocacy groups voiced their support for HB 4158, including the Blanco County Friends of the Night Sky, the Hill Country Alliance, and the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association. Senators Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) moved the bill successfully through the Texas Senate.


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