Countywide Tourist Development Tax

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by SoWal Staff, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. SoWal Staff

    SoWal Staff Serving the Community! Staff Member

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    On Tuesday's BCC Agenda:

    Request approval to advertise and hold a public hearing on July 28,2020, at 9:00 A.M. or soon thereafter at the Walton County Courthouse in DeFuniak Springs to consider an ordinance to place a referendum on the November 3, 2020 ballot that, if passed by the electors, would levy and impose a 2 percent tourist development tax in non-taxed portions of the County
     
  2. James Bentwood

    James Bentwood Beach Fanatic

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    Anyone have details? How would this tax be levied and collected? Is this so the north part of the county can benefit from dollars generated by beach tourism or is it to further fund beach advertising? A method for the north end to further control the south?
     
  3. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    This has been in the works for some time. My understanding is that if it is approved, the bed tax would start to be collected on short-term rental accommodations north of the bay (mostly motels and hotels) and would be available to use for promotion of visitation north of the bay and projects in the area north of the bay as allowed by state law. The north end would also get representation on the Tourist Development Council. Bed taxes would also continue to be collected on short-term rental accommodations south of the bay, as well, of course.
     
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  4. James Bentwood

    James Bentwood Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for the info!

    Seems like there should be a separate TDC for north walton. It is an entirely different world away.
     
  5. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    I was also told that the reason it wasn't the same as the SoWal bed tax is because they couldn't just increase it to that by State Law.
     
  6. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Then how would they funnel millions back north of the bay?
     
  7. bob1

    bob1 Beach Lover

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    This whole things smells like a ploy to grab even more money from SoWal bed tax.
     
  8. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    I was pretty sure the purpose was to fund their own events. I don't remember if SoWal money would be funneled north.
     
  9. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    The north can have a separate district, attaching it to the existing TDC is purely a money grab.
     
  10. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    Asked about the accounts and was told they would be separate for north and south. Agree that is a good thing to keep an eye on. I believe under the existing arrangement the TDC is furnishing upwards of $20,000 per year to fund promotion of events north of the bay. Not sure if the bed tax north of the bay would bring much more than that. Seems like this is something some folks in the north have been wanting for a while in hopes of getting tourists up that way. Can't see the north end drawing tourists like the beach does, though, just the nature of the beast.
     
  11. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Panama City Beach, Panama City and Mexico Beach all have different funds under the direction of the Bay County TDC, and I've never seen anyone over there complain about that :dunno:
     
  12. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    I emailed a Commissioner and he explained the money collected would only be used north of the bay as the money collected south of the bay would be used there. He did say the admin cost would come from the money collected from south of the bay.
     
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  13. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Admin cost should be negligible, as the Clerk's Office already has the technology and the staff in place.
    Though it might be a good time to hand it over to the Tax Collector's Office :floor::floor::floor:
     
  14. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    Wonder if this is normal procedure in most Florida counties? Seems like it should be. And why was north Walton not already part of TDC in every way?
     
  15. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    Because the original purpose of the Tourist Development Tax was to support marketing and maintenance of the Beaches of South Walton. There was no reason to enact the tax north of the Bay, therefore no representation on the board. A couple of years ago they did some promotion of the Biophilia Center east of Freeport and some of the beach properties howled about that. North of the bridge and South of the bridge...unfortunately is still an issue.

    Remember when it was known as the South Walton TDC, and suddenly (actual an evolution, but it caught me by surprise) it was now the Walton County TDC?? That was a move toward unification.
     
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