Pinellas County Bed Tax Debate

Posted On 11/30/2015 by St. Pete Chamber

Pinellas County is becoming a more popular tourist destination each year- with the increase of profitable tourism revenue comes debate on how the money should be spent. Bed taxes are used to enhance the county’s economy by increasing tourism and director visitor expenditures through marketing and promoting the destination with the use of taxing tourist’s hotel rooms.

After much debate between elected officials and representatives from multiple profitable businesses in the area, the county has decided to raise the bed tax from 5% to 6%. The decision has been made that 60% of this money will go directly to marketing and advertising the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area to gain more popularity. The remainder of the money goes to paying off debt and capital project improvements in the area. The main issue is that a few elected officials don’t believe in spending most of the money for advertising but instead focusing on capital projects in order to give the tourists multiple attractions to experience while they are vacationing. In order to reach a conclusion, the county has decided to go with a “flexible” 60/40 split plan but has eliminated the cap on capital projects and the minimum on advertising.

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Contact Travis Norton, Advocacy Manager for more information at tnorton@stpete.com.

Category: Advocacy