Brevard Commission Approves Chairman Lober’s Proposal for Use of Tourism Funds For Roads
By Space Coast Daily // March 6, 2020
EXTRA FUNDS OVER AND ABOVE PROJECTED TOURISM TAX PROCEEDS TO BE USED FOR ROADS
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Brevard County Commission Chairman Bryan Lober won his bid to improve Brevard’s roads as the commission voted 4-1 to use increased tourism tax funds over the projected budget for improvements to county-owned roadways and bridges.
In addition to Lober, voting in favor of the proposal was Rita Pritchett of District 1, John Tobia of District 3 and Kristine Isnardi of District 5. District 4 Commissioner Curt Smith was the lone vote against the proposal.
The county staff must now come back to the county commission with recommendations and then the commission will vote again to finalize the plan. That vote must be a super majority vote (minimum of 4 of the 5 commissioners voting in the positive), for it to pass.
“Though we are only two full months into the year, there is already a solid 6-digit surplus over and above the estimated TDT collection,” said Lober.
“This money can be put to use in a manner directly benefitting Brevard’s residents, many of whom could care less about billboards which they will never once see. Tourists will also benefit as decent roads are a benefit to everyone, not limited to an either/or choice between locals and tourists.”
The Space Coast Tourism Development tax is projected to generate $16.6 million during the fiscal year 2020 and Lober put forth this proposal to his fellow commissioners that specified funds over and above that projection be used for roads, bridges and projects benefiting or restoring the Indian River Lagoon, including utility expansions or improvements.
Tourist Development Tax Collections for the fiscal year that began in October are up 15 percent over the prior year – and an impressive 11 percent over budget.
The Brevard County Tourist Development Council oversees the Tourist Development Tax (Resort Tax), a 5 percent tax on the total rental amount collected from every person or other party who rents, leases, or lets for consideration living quarters or accommodation in any hotel, apartment hotel, motel, resort motel, apartment, apartment motel, rooming house, mobile home park, recreational vehicle park, or condominiums for a period of 6 months or less.
The Space Coast Office of Tourism is the body responsible for the marketing of tourism operations in Brevard County, Florida.
The office is funded through the tourism tax, which is then used to provide advertising and marketing for the region and to develop tourism-related programs.
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