How Tourism Dollars Are Spent May Change

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The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has sent out an action alert to its members aimed at stopping two bills in the Florida legislature from being passed, Senate Bill is 2008 and the House Bill is 1429. The FRLA says the changes being proposed will be catastrophic to the way counties promote tourism in the state.

The Tourist Development Tax was originally adopted for the sole purpose of marketing and advertising of tourism. The two Bill’s will expand the approved uses of Tourist Development Tax and Convention Development Tax funds to include flood mitigation projects and improvements. The FRLA says that could “significantly reduce resources that are badly needed to promote tourism and attract visitors to the locations in which these taxes are collected.”

This legislation will also require the re-adoption by voter referendum of TDT, the additional percentage add-ons, and CDT every five years. FRLA says in its action alert that requiring re-adoption every five years will jeopardize this source of funds and eliminate the ability of local governments to pledge the funds for bonding for any project that would exceed five years. Local governments will also have to spend time and resources every five years to promote re-adoption rather than concentrating their efforts on the work of tourism promotion.

FRLA says the impact of the legislation will harm Florida’s tourism industry and they are trying to get Florida business owners to contact legislators and tell them to vote against the Bills.