In 1993, the Texas Legislature proposed a bill that would
have increased property taxes for some private golf clubs in Texas by a
staggering 350 percent. Many of the clubs would have gone out of business and
had a dire impact on the golf industry.
However, a group of club members and club professionals came
together to educate the State Legislature of the negative impact the bill would
have on local communities that benefit from golf facilities. Two important
things happened next. The legislation was defeated, and the Texas Alliance of
Recreation Organizations (TARO) was formed.
To this day, many of our Member Clubs might not be familiar
with TARO or the important work it does. TARO is a non-profit alliance of
clubs, organizations and individuals who participate effectively in the state’s
legislative and regulatory processes for the benefit of their supporters.
Because the TGA is a key supporter of TARO, our Member Clubs are automatically
being represented to ensure they have a strong voice in the state’s political
arena. It’s another example of how the TGA is working on and off the golf
course to bring value to our membership.
Through the years, more than 100 clubs have supported TARO,
as have many TGA allies, such as the Northern and Southern Texas Sections of
the PGA, Texas Turfgrass Association and the Texas Chapters of Club Managers,
Golf Course Superintendents and United States Tennis Association.
The foremost purpose of TARO is to support legislation and
regulations beneficial to the club industry and related organizations. TARO
actively lobbies with the Legislature, monitors regulations under existing
laws, communicates with its supporters on legislative and regulatory issues
affecting them and conserves an action network, which is mobilized as necessary
to advocate Alliance positions.
As the main lobbying group for the Texas club industry,
TARO’s main objectives are to actively be involved in the political arena,
shape policies that arise in Texas politics and protect a fair political and
regulatory business environment for the club industry. TARO also serves to
educate its supporters on issues affecting them and to foster good will among
“Regardless of whether a facility is public or private, it’s
essentially a small business, providing jobs and tax revenue to the local
community,” TARO Executive Director Sam Brewster said. “While TARO was founded on an issue that primarily
benefited golf courses, its scope has broadened to monitor issues that impact
all small businesses.”
Over the years, TARO’s efforts have been both successful and
effective. During this year’s 86th Texas Legislative Session, all the bills
TARO supported passed. Conversely, 100 percent of the bills TARO opposed failed
To learn more about the vital work
TARO does, click here.