Walton County Relief for Locals & Small Business

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Jim Tucker, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    How about an emergency meeting to decide how to aid the residents and small businesses of Walton County? I see other counties and cities providing monetary aid. Walton County is one of the richest areas on the planet. The people of this county have protected the environment and worked hard to create the wealth. It is time to give some back to the hard working people who created the golden goose economy.
     
  2. Beacher

    Beacher Beach Comber

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    Someone posted in another thread the the Walton TDC has $75 million in reserve. I seem to recall the money was part of the beach nourishment plan that beachfront homeowners blocked.

    An example of a Florida City taking action:

    City OKs virus aid framework

    Gainesville residents could get assistance with rent or mortgage payments as soon as mid-May if a Gainesville City Commission plan for COVID-19 aid is approved.

    Businesses in the city also stand to benefit under the plan, which was discussed by the commission at a special meeting Thursday afternoon.

    “My goal is to get checks out by May 11 — the second week of May,” City Manager Lee Feldman said. “It’s pretty ambitious ... but I think we can get it done.”

    Proposed are rent or mortgage payments to residents in several income categories ranging from extremely low to moderate.

    Payments of up to $1,250 over two months are proposed.

    Businesses with a current city tax receipt could get grants of up to $5,000. Businesses will have to meet several additional qualifications, including posting a revenue loss because of COVID-19 restrictions and having a maximum of 50 employees. Businesses that filed for bankruptcy protection before March 16 will not qualify.

    City officials expect a deluge of applications from businesses and individuals when registration starts. A time and method for that has not been set.

    Available cash will total nearly $2.5 million and is likely to go fast once the application process opens. The city will determine if qualifications are met and then begin awarding the assistance.

    The proposal is called GNVCares, and the money would come from several sources within the city budget.
     
  3. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Lover

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    Why not do away with the TDC? It seems to me that we''re going to have tourists stumbling over each other with or without the TDC. The bed taxes could be used for something useful.
     
  4. James Bentwood

    James Bentwood Beach Fanatic

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    That certainly has been suggested before. I think it would require you and two people who think like you to get on the County Commission. And even then you would have to withstand all the pressure from local businesses who want a head in every bed and maximum advertising.
     
  5. ShallowsNole

    ShallowsNole Beach Fanatic

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    If you do away with the TDC, Walton County would no longer be collecting bed tax. The uses for the taxes already collected are set under Florida Statute and County Ordinance. To change the purpose of tax already collected may or may not be illegal. Might have to give it back to the folks that paid it. That's a good question. Ask the attorneys at the Florida Department of Revenue or the Attorney General's Office. Blow their minds.
     
  6. James Bentwood

    James Bentwood Beach Fanatic

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    That's why I mentioned the BCC - you'd likely have to change course at a fundamental level and you'd be fighting the powers that be like change the course of the Titanic.

    In other words change the focus of Walton County from just tourism dollars and advertising to preserving quality of life and improving infrastructure and diversifying economy.

    Smart, progressive areas and towns know that if you spend to support the locals and quality of life, the tourists still come and keep coming because what is good for locals is good for tourists.
     
  7. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    The City of Gainesville is a municipality with a progressive city government. They have always been ahead of their time.

    South Walton needs to be a city. Otherwise nothing will ever change. Our county should be wealthy enough to support tourism, infrastructure and quality of life for locals. Instead, no one is in charge except for the county level in Defuniak Springs.
     
  8. Poppaj

    Poppaj SoWal Insider

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    Even if we become a city I doubt we will ever become progressive or even keep pace with the times.
     
  9. Sun Chaser

    Sun Chaser Beach Lover

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    Just for fun, what would be your boundaries? Miramar Beach accounts for around 50% of revenue for the county. Do you think MB will join with the 30A folks to form one “town”? How far to the East do you propose to extend the boundaries? Lake Powell?
     
  10. bob bob

    bob bob Beach Fanatic

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    It's been discussed on here a lot. The consensus is county line to county line. Curious where you get your 50% figure and why is it relevant when forming a new government of South Walton.
     
  11. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    Got to start somewhere and "progressive" also means "professional" - not the negative connotation the right gives.
     
  12. Poppaj

    Poppaj SoWal Insider

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    No, I don’t believe progressive also means professional. As far as got to start somewhere, I agree. Maybe incorporation is the answer.
     
  13. lazin&drinkin

    lazin&drinkin Beach Lover

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    Consensus as defined by whom? And whether the 50% figure is on the money, so to speak, it is at least as relevant as your supposed consensus and likely much closer to reality.
     
  14. liz coats

    liz coats Beach Lover

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    "Progressive" means nothing, except that it's been substituted for "liberal". And what I think is right isn't necessarily what's right for you and I understand that. I respect the opinions and beliefs of those who disagree with me.
     
  15. Dawn

    Dawn Beach Fanatic

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    Semantics. "Progressive" used to mean "able to make progress". Somehow the word got perverted. In this Orwellian world I suppose "intelligent" and "caring" will soon be words used to vilify.
     
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  16. Jim Tucker

    Jim Tucker Beach Fanatic

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    Fort Walton Beach City Council voted unanimously to move forward with a $100,000 small business grant program - Business Tax Receipt revenues of $103,000 will be used to fund the grant program. (3% grant administration fee/contribution to the SBDC Foundation totals $3,000 bringing the total expenditure to $103,000.)
     
  17. einnadica

    einnadica Beach Lover

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    I believe they already are vilifying not only the words but also the people representative of them, well at least in the County seat. Small town, small-minded and fearful of change corruption is pervasive in County Administration. It is that Administration that wheels and deals behind the scenes to achieve their personal agendas (with the North and South Walton elite alike) to persuade the sitting commishes to come aboard with their way of "thinking". Isn't that right L, S and D? Quid pro quo in Walton is right up there with DC, perhaps beyond. Just so you know, you're not fooling anybody. Hey, maybe in four or eight years Rick Scott will win the Republican nomination so you'll be all set. South Walton, incorporate!!
     

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