WATCH AND DECIDE: Should Hotel Developer Driftwood Receive $30 Million of Brevard Tourism Tax for Westin Hotel Project in Cocoa Beach?

By  //  July 8, 2022

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TIM DERATANY: Reject Ill-Advised Proposal to Give Away Our Tax Dollars to Wealthy South Florida Developer

WATCH: You Decide! Should the hotel developer Driftwood receive $30 million of local tourism tax from Brevard County for their Westin Hotel project in Cocoa Beach?

Space Coast Daily’s Giles Malone explains the details so you may decide and contact your Brevard County Commissioners to let them know your opinion.

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For more than 50 years, Tim 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.

DERATANY: I find it very disturbing that recently retired County Commission Attorney Scott Knox and former County Commissioner Robin Fisher are representing Driftwood Capital as paid lobbyists to influence their former colleagues on the Brevard County Board of Commissioners to give away our tax dollars.

As a former Chairman of the Tourist Development Council, I am in disbelief that our Brevard County Commission is considering giving away $30 million of our tax dollars that would normally go to the TDC.

The money generated from the tourist development tax funds beach renourishment, arts and culture marketing, the Indian River Lagoon, the Brevard Zoo and Aquarium, sports marketing, as well as promotion of the Space Coast which benefits all hotels and motels, etc.

Driftwood Capital/Westin Cocoa Beach Resort is requesting the County gift $30 million to their corporation at the expense of all of these programs currently funded by the TDC.

I find it very disturbing that recently retired County Commission Attorney Scott Knox and former County Commissioner Robin Fisher are representing Driftwood Capital as paid lobbyists to influence their former colleagues on the Brevard County Board of Commissioners to give away our tax dollars.

If this passes, then it would only be fair to repeat this ill-conceived giveaway of our tax dollars by dividing up the rest of the TDC’s funds among the other 111 motels and hotels, etc., here in Brevard County, and abolish the TDC. That way all of our hotels can line their pockets with our tax dollars the same as Driftwood Capital.

Brevard County Commissioners, please reject this ill-advised proposal to give away our tax dollars to this wealthy South Florida Developer!

– 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.

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