TIM DERATANY: Tax Dollar Giveaway to Private Hotel Corporation in Cocoa Beach ‘Sinful’
By Tim Deratany // January 21, 2022
YOUR OPINION • YOUR VIEW
DERATANY: Hopefully, the many lobbyists the hotel corporation enlisted to push this giveaway of our tax dollars will fail in this attempt at securing taxpayer funds for a private project
Taking $50 to $70 million of our tax dollars and giving it to a private hotel corporation in Cocoa Beach would be sinful, and is being seriously considered.
I support the residents and taxpayers against this issue. Removing $50 to $70 million from the overall Tourist Development Council tax base potentially short changes the Arts & Culture, the Brevard Zoo & Aquarium, the Indian River Lagoon and the beach re-nourishment to mention just a few of the great projects the TDC funds.
It is ludicrous to help finance a private hotel complex by paying a multibillion-dollar hotel corporation that wants to use our taxpayer dollars from the Space Coast Tourist Development Council as their own personal piggy bank.
The TDC is already spending millions to improve the Lori Wilson Park right next door to the property under consideration.
If the Brevard County Commission chooses to support this boondoggle, which I hope is not the case, then the very least they should do is ensure that the millions of dollars from the TDC are an investment in the hotel property with TDC/Brevard County ownership commensurate with the TDC’s investment; i.e., $50 million TDC dollars in the $150 million project should provide the TDC/Brevard County a one-third interest in the hotel complex.
Hopefully, the many lobbyists the hotel corporation enlisted to push this giveaway of our tax dollars will fail in this attempt at securing taxpayer funds for a private project.
Residents and every entity which receives TDC funding should be worried and mobilized to fight this brash self-serving proposal from this hotel conglomerate.
– Tim Deratany
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Longtime public servant Tim Deratany has seen incredible changes and growth since arriving in Brevard County from Michigan in 1947 at the age of eight.
Post World War II Brevard County was a sleepy Florida coastal community of only about 18,000 people at that time, with agriculture being among its main industries.
Now 82 years old, Deratany has witnessed firsthand the area’s growth into one of the most unique and vibrant areas on the globe, featuring the world’s only space and seaport facilities, as well as a 72-mile stretch of some of the best beaches in Florida.
For more than 50 years, Deratany has been making a positive impact on the Space Coast as the mayor of Indialantic, a member of the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate, as a successful businessman, and most recently, a member of the Space Coast Tourist Development Council.
He attended Brevard Community College and Eckerd College in St. Petersburg and then was elected mayor of the Town of Indialantic from 1970 to 1977.
Deratany served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives for the 47th district from 1978 to 1984, as a Republican.
He was then elected to the Florida State Senate from 1984 to 1990 and was the first Republican Chairman of the Senate Finance and Tax Committee since reconstruction.
More recently, Deratany has served on the Brevard County Tourist Development Council from 2012 to 2020.
He was unanimously elected chairman of the board of the Tourist Development Council for 2019, making funding for the arts and for tourism capital projects priority items.
An accomplished artist in his own right, Deratany has been a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture since 2010, having been appointed by Governor Charlie Crist.
Deratany, a resident of South Merritt Island, is also a staunch supporter of improving the health of the Indian River Lagoon. He continues to stay active playing tennis several times a week, serving his community and operating Deratany Consulting and Riverside Realty.