Central Florida wants tourists to pay for stadiums and ads
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.
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... ;-)
Hmm, as a local I find this quite disgusting.
There's no reason why the Lynx network couldn't be designed to accomodate tourists. But, you're right, it hasn't been and I don't think 50 cents a rental car is gonna get that done. But if there were the political will in Orlando (I know, stop laughing...) there could be a light rail system cross-connecting the airport, downtown, UO, I-Drive, the Convention Center, SeaWorld and Downtown Disney. But Disney doesn't want anyone to have easy access off its property, so that ain't gonna happen.
Ah, lets talk about the light rail system shall we.
The light rail system has been kicked around for years. Disney won't budge on the stance they don't want a system that will take guests away from the property. Can't blame them on that one. The bus proposal is interesting if it can be developed properly.
So, now i will be stuck paying a additional tax and wont get one benefit at all!!!!!!!!!!
I think it's really sad that they want to do this. Disney World has just lowered prices this year, trying to make it more affordable for families to be able to make this vacation. I live in Oregon, have never been to Disney World, and still can't afford to make the trip, even with all the specials. My daughter feels quite bad that she can't go, as some of her friends have been. But we have to pay airfare, hotels, food, and tickets. Now Florida wants to make it even more expensive! I save and save, but a single parent can just forget about a vacation to "The Happiest Place On Earth"!
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