Central Florida wants tourists to pay for stadiums and ads
Written by Robert Niles
The mayors of Orlando and Orange County (Fla.) have joined the leaders of Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando in calling for an increase in hotel and rental car taxes. The increase would raise the tax visitors pay on hotel rooms from five cents on the dollar to six, and add a two dollar surcharge to rental car rates.Tweet
Part of the rental car surcharge would pay for the Orlando area's Lynx bus system. But the larger hotel tax would be split 50/50 between funding new advertising campaigns encouraging tourists to visit Orlando and money to rebuild or renovate Orlando's two major sports stadiums, The TD Waterhouse Centre and the Citrus Bowl.
The WDW and UO folks want the ad campaign, obviously. And the local pols want to keep the Orlando Magic and college bowl games(the stadiums' main tenants) happy without soaking local taxpayers.
Those local residents will get to decide whether the tax increases happen, as local law requires a referendum before they can go into effect. The Orlando Sentinel has all the details today.
Personally, I wish governments would stop paying tax money (from whatever the source) on professional sports facilities. Let the teams pay. A better bus system makes sense, though, and should be welcomed by tourists and theme park employees, provided they get better service as a result. And the ad campaign promoting the area could end up paying for itself in more tourists coming to the area.
And here is a link that might be of interest to those planning said campaign... ;-)
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