Pinellas County Tourist Tax Allocation for Major Projects. Pinellas County officials are considering changing how tourist tax dollars are allocated to fund major upcoming projects like beach renourishment and a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium. The discussion took place during a joint meeting between the county commissioners and the Tourist Development Council on May 3rd, 2024. [1]

Pinellas County Tourist Tax Allocation for Major Projects Beach Renourishment Needs

The county faces significant costs for replenishing eroded beaches, with projections showing around $102 million needed for renourishment in 2026 and 2032. A recent analysis suggests Pinellas could take on the full cost of regular beach renourishment over 40 years, estimated at $484.6 million, which is about a quarter of the expected capital tourist-tax income during that period. [4]

However, this projection assumes no state grants for renourishment and is based on a “worst-case scenario” where the county makes no progress with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has stalled projects due to a dispute over public access easements. [4] Emergency renourishment after storms like Hurricane Idalia would require additional funding. [4]

Rays Stadium Funding

The county is negotiating a preliminary agreement to contribute $312.5 million in tourist tax dollars towards a new Tampa Bay Rays stadium in downtown St. Petersburg. Given the financing over decades, the final cost would likely be much higher. [1]

Pinellas County Weighs Tourist Tax Allocation for Major Projects

Pinellas County Tourist Tax Allocation for Major Projects. Currently, 60% of the county’s tourist development tax (a 6% levy on accommodations) goes towards operational expenses like advertising, while 40% funds capital projects. [1] Officials have repeatedly floated moving to a 50-50 split, which was incorporated into the financial projections presented at the meeting. [1]

Pinellas County Tourist Tax Allocation for Major Projects. County Administrator Barry Burton stated that even with a 50-50 split, the tourism bureau would have ample funding for marketing. The change would make more dollars available for capital uses like beach renourishment and sports venues. [1]

However, a vote by county commissioners is required to change the current funding formula, and nothing is scheduled yet. [1] The county’s tourist tax revenue hit a record $98 million in fiscal year 2023 but has slumped slightly in recent months. [1]

Pinellas County Weighs Tourist Tax Allocation for Major Projects And Other details on the tourist development tax allocation and regulations can be found on the Pinellas County [2][3] and Florida Department of Revenue [6] websites.

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Citations:
[1] https://www.tampabay.com/news/pinellas/2024/05/03/beaches-baseball-nourishment-tampa-bay-rays-stadium-tourism-spending-tax/
[2] https://pinellas.gov/services/pay-tourist-development-tax/
[3] https://pinellastaxcollector.gov/property-tax/tourist-development-taxes/
[4] https://www.tampabay.com/news/pinellas/2023/09/14/pinellas-may-be-able-pay-beach-renourishment-by-itself-after-all/
[5] https://baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2023/07/13/beach-renourishment-pinellas-corps-
[6] https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/taxesfees/Pages/local_option.aspx
[7] https://partners.visitstpeteclearwater.com/reporting/bed-tax
[8] https://www.wfla.com/news/pinellas-county/new-plans-detail-finances-of-rays-stadium-deal/
[9] https://pinellas.gov/coastal-management-easements/
[10] https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/investigations/10-investigates/rays-new-stadium/67-c614c2c6-0cfb-4993-83db-1a9b02d905b8
[11] https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/pinellascounty/pinellas-county-tourist-tax-funds-rays-beaches-sand-renourishment/67-926cfdc6-39be-4b4f-91eb-b7c9f4258a28
[12] https://www.wfla.com/news/pinellas-county/st-petersburg-leaders-discuss-terms-for-rays-stadium-funding/
[13] https://pinellas.county-taxes.com/touristexpress
[14] https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Articles/2023/10/04/tampa-bay-rays-new-ballpark-funding-st-petersburg-pinellas-county-florida-development-tropicana
[15] https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pinellas/governor-desantis-announces-funding-boost-to-support-beach-renourishment
[16] https://www.wusf.org/environment/2024-04-24/gov-desantis-approves-50-million-more-pinellas-county-beach-renourishment
[17] https://www.fox13news.com/video/1446090
[18] https://www.yahoo.com/news/state-spending-another-50m-beach-210711312.html
[19] https://news.yahoo.com/state-spending-another-50m-beach-210711312.html

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