Q. How is the bed tax used?
• Sixty percent of the revenues from the tourist tax are used to support local projects that enhance the tourism infrastructure in order to provide added services to visitors and quality of life services to local residents. Projects that receive funding from these funds include: Construction projects including renovations to the Coombs Armory and dune walk overs; beach clean-up, sports facility improvements; support to local non-profit events, land acquisition for boat ramps and beach park improvements
• Approximately 39% of the revenues are used for out of area marketing to promote tourism in Franklin County.
• Less than 9% of the funds generated by the tourist tax are used for administrative costs. No local tax dollars are used for tourism promotion.
Q. What does the Franklin County TDC do and are you successful?
We bring business and Visitors to Franklin County. The tourism industry in Franklin County is a $75 million industry. Tourist dollars contribute to local restaurants, retail shops, grocery stores, fuel service stations. Sales Tax revenues from tourists reduce property taxes to local residents by as much as $300 a year.
Q. Why does the FCTDC get to administer the tax?
The Franklin County TDC is an arm of county government. The TDC Board makes recommendations to the county commission about ways to effectively promote tourism in the county. Florida Statutes require that the County establish a local Tourist Development Board when levying the tax.
Q. What organizations benefit from the bed tax?
In addition to promoting Franklin County as a tourism destination, the FCTDC provides funding for a host of local organizations and groups. Some 26 non-profit organizations get promotional assistance each year from TDC funds. The County’s four visitor centers are funded by the TDC. In addition, projects funded by TDC money are performed by local contractors including fishing guides, restaurants, hotels and lodging companies.
Q. How much is the county getting from the bed tax this year.
So far in 2014 the bed tax collections exceed $800,000. Below are links to the 2014 bed tax collection reports.
Q. How does our TDC compare with others?
By key measures the FCTDC competes favorably in the following ways:
• Local tourist tax rate is 2% on each lodging company rental. That is $2 on every $100 hotel bill. Area counties tax rate all exceed Franklin County’s rate and most levy between 4 and 5%.
• FCTDC administrative costs for the last few years has been at or under 7%. North Florida TDCs utilize between 15 and 25% for administrative costs.
• 60% of the FCTDC is directed at funding local projects that serve both tourists and local residents. This percentage is the highest in the area.