TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+
  • FLORIDA | TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Gov. Scott: Florida Continues to Break Visitation Records

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

Spain Foreign Minister: Trump Urged Spain to 'Build a Wall' Across Sahara

MADRID, Spain (BBC News) - President Trump recommended building a wall across the Sahara to…

Trade War Escalates as China Announces Tariffs on US Imports

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-China trade war escalated further Tuesday, with China announcing retaliatory tax…

Korean Leaders Meet in Pyongyang for Potentially Tough Talks

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with…

Trump Campaign Statement on Hispanic Heritage Month

New York, NY – In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, Steve Cortes, a member of…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

Chris King, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy Address Moms For Gillum At Orlando Rally

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Kristen King, wife of Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor Chris King, U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie…

Kissimmee City Commission Runoff Candidate Andrew Jeng Issues Statement on Hurricane Maria Anniversary

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Andrew Jeng, who secured a historic runoff spot for Kissimmee City Commission, Seat…

On the One-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Maria, Mayor Gillum Issues Letter to Puerto Rican Community

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Florida Governor, issued…

Orange County Supervisor Daisy Morales Releases Statement on Sister's Passing

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Daisy Morales’ Office…

SPORTS NEWS

  • TAMPA BAY (FNN SPORTS) - Coach Tony Dungy to be Inducted into Buccaneers Ring of Honor

MORE SPORTS NEWS

Jacksonville Jaguars Maul New England Patriots in AFC Championship Rematch

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Despite being recorded as one of the hottest games played in…

Buccaneers Rout NFL Champs Eagles in Season Home Opener 27-21

TAMPA, Fla (FNN SPORTS) - Raymond James Stadium was abuzz Sunday to watch the Tampa…

AFC Championship Rematch: Can the Jaguars Defeat the Patriots?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - The Jacksonville home opener is nothing short of highly anticipated.…

Orlando Pride and Head Coach Tom Sermanni Mutually Part Ways

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Source: Orlando City SC // Orlando Pride and Head Coach…

UCF Defense Shuts Out South Carolina State 38-0 in Home Opener

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - After scoring 56 points on the road last week against…

ESSENCE Debuts Lebron James’ Captivating Social Media Campaign “The Strongest” Celebrating 16 Strong Black Women

NEW YORK, NY (FNN NEWS) — Source: ESSENCE // ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

Trade War Escalates as China Announces Tariffs on US Imports

BEIJING (AP) — The U.S.-China trade war escalated further Tuesday, with China announcing retaliatory tax…

Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh Appeals Decision On Disney Property Valuation

Orlando, FL – Orange County Property Appraiser (OCPA), Rick Singh, today announced that an appeal…

Governor Scott Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Remembrance of 9/11

TALLAHASSEE - In honor and remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives in the…

ESSENCE Debuts Lebron James’ Captivating Social Media Campaign “The Strongest” Celebrating 16 Strong Black Women

NEW YORK, NY (FNN NEWS) — Source: ESSENCE // ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and…

Amway Founder and Orlando Magic Owner Richard DeVos Dies at 92

DETROIT (AP) — Billionaire Richard DeVos, co-founder of direct-selling giant Amway, owner of the Orlando…

Nike Unveils Kaepernick Ad to Air During NFL Season Opener

Nike has unveiled its first “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Minaj calls dustup with Cardi B mortifying, humiliating

NEW YORK (AP) — Nicki Minaj said being involved in an altercation with Cardi B…

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (FNN NEWS) – Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss…

The Miss America Organization & The Miss America Foundation Announce 2019 Competition Scholarship Awards

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The Miss America Organization, a 501c4 and the Miss America Foundation…

Miss America 2019: Louisiana and Virginia Win Preliminary Awards Night 2

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The second of three preliminary nights for the 2019 Miss America Competition, took place…

Miss America 2019: Florida and Wisconsin Win Preliminary Awards Night 1

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The first of three preliminary nights for the 2019 Miss America Competition, took place…

VIDEO: Orlando to Host Monster Jam's World Finals in 2019 and 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Feld Entertainment's Monster Jam, which has rocked Orlando since 2002,…

LIFESTYLE NEWS

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

Orange County Nursing Home Faces Legal Action, State Investigations After Elected Official's 911 Call

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nursing home negligence of residents has become a top priority…

Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin Crowned Miss America 2019

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (FNN NEWS) – Miss New York Nia Imani Franklin was crowned Miss…

Walt Disney World Resort to Host Kickoff of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Nationwide Bus Tour Auditions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is set to host…

Applications Now Open for Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Applications are being accepted now through Oct. 31, 2018, for…

Christopher Comins Donates Trauma Kits to Belle Isle Police, Launching School Safety Initiative

BELLE ISLE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Philanthropist Christopher Comins has been spotlighted in Florida National…