Jacksonville council panel OKs revision of tourist development plan … – Florida Politics (blog)
Jacksonville has changed a lot since the late 1970s. But the city’s tourist development plan remains as it was when originally implemented almost 40 years ago.
With that in mind, Council President Lori Boyer brought forth a bill Monday morning to the Neighborhoods, Community Investments, and Services Committee with some revisions to charter language regarding the tourist development council.
Among the interesting wrinkles, according to the bill summary: added language prohibiting use of tourist development tax funds to finance capital improvements through the use of public or private debt; to construct, furnish or equip a hotel, whether or not adjacent to a county owned and operated facility; for the use of privately owned facilities.
Of the two cents of the bed tax allocated to the Tourist Development Plan, anticipated revenue this fiscal year is $7.4 million, up $600,000 year-over-year. This is notable, as the proposed funding formula sees shifting budgetary allocations as revenue increases.
Out of the first five million, 71 percent goes to advertising, PR, and marketing to “promote tourism,” with 24 percent going to fund events that promote and advertise tourism, targeting tourists from outside the area. The additional five percent goes to convention bureaus, tourist bureaus, and visitor information centers.
From the next million dollars, there is a shift in ratios: 40 percent goes to advertising and the like to promote tourism, 20 percent goes to fund events that bring in tourists from outside the area, and 40 percent goes to “fund any other authorized use under state law with city council approval.”
Above $6 million, there is another shift in the formula: 50 percent of that money goes to promotional efforts, 25 percent goes to “any other authorized use under state law with city council approval,” and the last 25 percent goes to “acquire, construct, expand, repair, improve and