By George Miller, 1-13-23
At the recent Nassau County Legislative Agenda meeting by District 4 State Senator Clay Yarborough and District 4 State Representative Dean Black, new state officials representing us, Gil Langley of Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau reminded them of the size and importance of the county’s tourism industry. They are contributing millions to local, state and federal governments. They are only asking that bed tax money not be diverted from tourism marketing, which is vital to sustaining and growing tourism traffic/revenues, which make all that tax money and jobs possible, that short term rentals pay their share and that full funding for “Visit Florida” be provided.
His presentation opinions and facts are contained below. When we asked him what substantiation he had to back these up, he offered the links we added at the end.
State Key Points
- Tourism is Florida’s top industry
- Revenue generated by tourism is one of the key reasons residents don’t pay income tax (1 of 7 states)
- Over 1 million Florida residents work in the tourism industry,
Local Key Points:
- Nassau County is tourism dependent.
- Last year tourism had a direct economic impact of nearly $1 billion on Nassau County . Nassau County is 1.5 times more dependent on tourism than other Florida counties.
- Tourism accounts for 29% of Nassau County GDP
- Tourist spending saves the average Nassau County household $3,400 in local and state taxes.
- Every bed tax dollar invested in marketing generates $12.33 for the Nassau County government and $4.10 for Nassau County schools.
- RCAI alone pays over $1.5 million on school taxes and is in the top ten property tax payers in the County.
- 36% of tax revenues for Nassau County are paid by tourists, generating net positive income to the County of $47.4 million.
Tourism industry partners are responsible for the creation of 15,655 jobs. Almost 32% of total County employment is in the hospitality industry.
The largest private sector employer is the OMNI AIP.
The AICVB is committed to the current allocation of bed tax user fees. The hospitality industry is opposed to any diversion of funds from current use.
Here are the critical issues we support
- Full funding for Visit Florida
- Full collection and remittance of TDT by short-term rentals
- Maintain use of TDT for marketing purposes