Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) on Monday received a unanimous favorable vote on SB 334, Tourist Development Tax, in the Senate committee on Community Affairs. The bill will now move to its next committee of reference, the Senate committee on Finance and Tax. SB 334 creates, in statute, a new permitted use for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) dollars.
“TDT is often used primarily for the promotion and advertisement of tourism to Florida. I wanted to give local Tourist Development Councils the option to use these dollars to promote film production here in the State. This would not be a new tax, but a tool that local communities could use to promote tourism though the big screen,” said Stewart.
Currently, counties have the ability to impose taxes on tourist accommodations to generate revenue for the promotion of tourism. This tax, largely paid in part by tourists, is designated for the use of capital construction of tourist-related facilities, tourism promotion, and beach or shoreline maintenance.
“Florida severely lags behind our neighboring states in film production and it’s proven that people are more likely to visit destinations featured in media productions. By opening up the use of TDT as a voluntary funding source to promote tourism through film we can book 220,000 more hotel rooms, hire 110,000 Floridian cast and crew members, and pump $1.3 billion back into our local economies,” said Stewart.