Dangerous bills that would fundamentally affect the way counties can use the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) funds are quickly moving though the Florida Legislature this Session. HB1429 sponsored by Representative Bryan Avila (111 – Hialeah) and SB2008 sponsored by Senator Manny Diaz (36 – Hialeah Gardens) are companion bills.
The House Bill had been placed on the Special Order Calendar for this Tuesday, April 13 at 2:00pm. This hazardous bill which establishes a precedent of raiding your county’s Tourist Development Tax revenue for non-marketing purposes could pass the Florida House of Representatives this week.
These bills allow county governments to siphon funds collected through the TDT in your county intended for tourism promotion and use them for “flood mitigation.” Our focus isn’t on this specific expanded use, rather ANY use aside from tourism promotion and marketing weakens our state’s tourism marketing efforts. Tourist Development Taxes invested by Florida destinations result in billions of dollars in sales tax revenue generated by tourists affording a lower tax burden for Florida residents.
*** CALL TO ACTION ***
As our industry begins to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic, these bills imperil our ability to recover. Elected officials need to support our economic recovery, not disrupt it. Here is where we need your help!
Please contact YOUR REPRESENTATIVE. Tell them how the Tourist Development Tax in your county helps market your county destination and attractions. Share how you depend on the efforts of your Tourist Development Council and/or CVB to bring visitors to your county, increasing your county’s tax base and generating additional TDT funds.
Thank you for all you do for the FAA and our collective industry. Keep advocating for the protection of Florida tourism!