TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • POLITICS | WASHINGTON (AP) - Trump picks Kavanaugh, a GOP favorite, for Supreme Court

State Representative Randy Fine Files Tourism Tax Reform Legislation

PALM BAY, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – State Representative Randy Fine (R-South Brevard County) today filed HB 585, which will amend the Tourist Development Tax statute to allow bed taxes to be spent on a wide array of capital projects necessary to facilitate tourism, including transportation, wastewater, solid waste, groundwater drainage, drinking water, and pedestrian facilities.   The bill also makes clear that estuaries and lagoons are considered rivers and inland lakes for the purposes of existing authority.  The bill is very similar to SB 658, filed by Senator Jeff Brandes on October 26th.

“So much of our infrastructure is failing and inadequately maintained, and many local politicians hide behind real – or made up — restrictions of the tourist development tax to fund special interest projects at the expense of Florida’s visitors and tourists,” said Fine.   “With billions of dollars being collected from tourists to Florida, we should grant local governments the ‘home rule’ power to spend those dollars in the best manner to attract and facilitate tourists.”

Fine filed this bill in the aftermath of a scandal on the Brevard County Commission where, at the same time it was releasing 19 million gallons of raw sewage into the Indian River, four county commissioners voted to spend $14.4 million dollars on projects including a $7 million-dollar developer payment, $5 million in county soccer field improvements, $1.7 million to subsidize RV parks for snowbirds, and $500,000 for a museum open only once a week that charges $27 admission.   The commissioners justified spending this money on these projects and not the Indian River – which they have previously stated has a $4 billion annual tourism impact – because the Indian River is not a river.   River rehabilitation is expressly authorized under current tourist development law.

“Without a healthy Indian River Lagoon, we won’t have any tourism in Brevard County, and without a vibrant infrastructure, we won’t be able to handle our large and growing tourism industry.   I spent fifteen years working on tourism-related issues, and I understand the importance of tourism marketing.   But if we do not maintain our public tourism assets – in order to build white elephants that have little to nothing to do with tourism – we jeopardize this critical industry.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POLITICS & POWER NEWS

National Politics

Reps. Soto, Demings and Murphy Request Update from Florida Dept. of Transportation on “I-4 Ultimate Project”

Washington, D.C. –  Central Florida representatives Darren Soto, Val Demings and Stephanie Murphy sent a letter…

Rep. Soto Announces $2.4 Million in Grant Funding for Winter Haven Gilbert Field Airport

Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09) announced today that Winter Haven Municipal Airport Gilbert…

Trump picks Kavanaugh, a GOP favorite, for Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh, a solidly conservative, politically connected judge,…

Oprah Winfrey tells Vogue that a 2020 presidential run would kill me

(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey is again dampening speculation that she may be planning to run for…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

VIDEO: Andrew Jeng Bucks Campaign Tradition in Kissimmee City Commission Race

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Andrew Jeng introduced something new and different to the race for…

U.S. Congressman Darren Soto is Backing Andrew Jeng for Kissimmee City Commissioner

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Andrew Jeng’s campaign announced in a press release Saturday that…

VIDEO: Sheriff Jerry Demings Endorses Andrew Jeng for Kissimmee Commission

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Today Kissimmee City Commission, Seat 2 candidate Andrew Jeng’s campaign…

Senator Linda Stewart Calls On Governor Scott To End Inaction On Separated Refugee Families

ORLANDO, FL – Frustrated with the lack of any direction from the Trump Administration to return…

SPORTS NEWS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

It’s official: Lakers announce LeBron James has signed

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s official. LeBron is a Laker. The Los Angeles Lakers announced the…

Clint Bowyer Leads Coke Zero Sugar 400 Practice with 200-mph Lap; Qualifying for 60th Annual Event Set for Friday

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On Thursday, NASCAR returned to Daytona International Speedway with practice sessions in advance…

North Carolina Courage Maul Fatigued Orlando Pride with 3-0 Shutout

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The National Women's Soccer League's top two teams faced off…

Banco do Brasil so impressed with Valencia Students that they give more money for Student Scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla.,   June 29, 2018  -  Banco do Brasil Americas will celebrate the 2018…

Late Houston Goals Turn the Tables in Orlando Pride Home Loss

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Orlando Pride returned home to face the Houston Dash…

Kelly Rowland showcased her toned figure in sheer feather dress at NBA Awards

LOS ANGELES (FNN NEWS) - Fresh from her big win in Australia, 4 Time Grammy…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Zignavisual Florida Announces Corporate Re-Branding, Changes Name to iUSE Photography

MIAMI, Fla. -- Zignavisual, a leading real estate photography company serving South Florida realtors since 2016, is relaunching with…

Banco do Brasil so impressed with Valencia Students that they give more money for Student Scholarships

ORLANDO, Fla.,   June 29, 2018  -  Banco do Brasil Americas will celebrate the 2018…

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

Comcast Challenges Disney with $65B Bid for Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — Comcast made a $65 billion bid Wednesday for Fox’s entertainment businesses,…

Facebook Says It's Removing Trending News Feature Next Week

SAN FRANCISCO (FNN NEWS) - Facebook announced Friday that it will remove its "Trending" section from…

VIDEO: Dunkin Donut Delivers Free Donuts on National Donut Day

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Friday, June 1 is National Donut Day. You still have…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

George Clooney released after motorcycle crash in Italy

ROME (AP) — Actor George Clooney was taken to the hospital in Sardinia and released…

[VIDEO] R&B Greats Teddy Riley and Keith Sweat Crash MAJOR's Essence Festival Interview

NEW ORLEANS, La. (FNN NEWS) - The final night of the three-day sold-out 2018 Essence…

Oprah Winfrey tells Vogue that a 2020 presidential run would kill me

(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey is again dampening speculation that she may be planning to run for…

A Big New Way to Play Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this Summer: Toy Story Land!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – It’s a joy-filled, toy-filled world as only…

Horror Classics – Chucky and Killer Klowns from Outer Space – Come to Life at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – Two horror icons originating in the 1980s – Chucky and Killer Klowns from…

Kelly Rowland showcased her toned figure in sheer feather dress at NBA Awards

LOS ANGELES (FNN NEWS) - Fresh from her big win in Australia, 4 Time Grammy…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Oprah Winfrey tells Vogue that a 2020 presidential run would kill me

(CNN) - Oprah Winfrey is again dampening speculation that she may be planning to run for…

A Big New Way to Play Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this Summer: Toy Story Land!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – It’s a joy-filled, toy-filled world as only…

Horror Classics – Chucky and Killer Klowns from Outer Space – Come to Life at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 28, 2018) – Two horror icons originating in the 1980s – Chucky and Killer Klowns from…

VIDEO: Grenada Consul General Warren Newfield Discusses the Island Nation's Growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Grenada Ambassador-at-Large and Consul General in Miami Warren Newfield,…

BREAKING NEWS: Miss America Ends Swimsuit Competition

NEW YORK (FNN NEWS) - Gretchen Carlson, the board of trustees chair for the Miss…

VIDEO: Newseum to Add 18 Journalists Killed in 2017 to Journalists Memorial on June 4

WASHINGTON -- Today, at 10 a.m., the Newseum will rededicate its Journalists Memorial, which recognizes men and women who were killed…

GOLDEN TRAILER

ESSENCE MUSIC FEST

MISS AMERICA

ABFF FILM FESTIVAL

JAZZ IN THE GARDENS

DAYTONA 500

MISS UNIVERSE

WRITERS GUILD

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

TONY AWARDS