Milton, Florida (WKRGMore) — The Santa Rosa County Commissioner is speaking out against a Florida House bill that would take away a local tourism tax.
House Bill 7053 cut state funding for “Visit Florida.” Instead, each county remits a portion of its tax revenues to the state’s tourism marketing agency.
“What they want us to do is basically fund Visit Florida out of county tax revenues,” said Commissioner Colten Wright.
Last year, the Santa Rosa County Tourism Development Tax (Bed Tax) generated more than $6.3 million. The money can be used to market the county itself, maintain the beaches, and build tourism-related facilities.
If the bill is passed, the county will have to pay 2-5% of bed tax revenues to the state.
“I don’t think it’s good for us,” Wright said. “I don’t think it’s good for the citizens. I don’t think it’s good for Santa Rosa County and the state has no idea how we fund anything so they can stop spending state taxes.” I think I’m just looking.”
Under this proposal, after three years, the county would have the option to keep revenue and not support the state’s marketing programs.
“It’s ridiculous that they’re spending millions of dollars to show where Florida is,” said Commissioner Kelly Smith. “If you look at it in Florida or Hawaii, a lot of people aren’t looking for ads. A lot of us think they’re wasting money in the first place.”
The bill has passed the committee. The committee will vote on Thursday and send a letter to the state legislature expressing opposition to the bill.
https://www.wkrg.com/northwest-florida/santa-rosa-county/santa-rosa-commissioners-oppose-bill-that-lets-state-take-some-bed-tax-revenue/ Santa Rosa Commissioner Opposes Bill to Allow State to Take Part of Bed Tax Revenue