Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings announced that Jane Healy, former Managing Editor for the Orlando Sentinel, and Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue Market President for the Central Florida region, will serve as Co-Chairs for the recently announced Tourist Development Tax (TDT)
Citizen Advisory Task Force. TDT is the acronym for Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax, a 6% charge tacked onto the cost of a hotel room or other short-term lodging. The levy also is sometimes called the hotel or bed tax.
As one of the top travel destinations in the world, Orange County is expected to host over 75
million annual visitors, a return to a pre-pandemic level. Tourism is a $75 billion industry
and accounts for approximately 24% of employment in Orange County. The Orange County
TDT, paid by hotel visitors and short-term rentals, has raised significant dollars since its
inception. The proceeds have been used to invest in iconic public facilities that draw millions
of tourists annually to the community.
According to Mayor Demings, the proposed TDT Citizen Advisory Task Force won’t include
registered lobbyists or elected officials as members and should represent a diverse cross section of residents. It will have representatives from the tourism industry, including Disney,
Universal, SeaWorld, the Central Florida Hotel Lodging Association, the I-Drive Chamber
of Commerce, and the AFL-CIO labor union. The charge for this task force is to review and
provide input to the Board of County Commissioners and Tourist Development Council on
potential uses of future, unencumbered TDT revenues.
Organizations interested in pursuing funding once TDT revenues become available and have
proposals that align with Florida Statute 125.0104, are encouraged to provide the necessary
information through the online application and submit to TDTCitizenAdvisory@ocfl.net.
The task force is expected to complete its work by July 2023 and will conclude with a report
or presentation to the Tourism Development Council and the Board of County Commissioners
on its findings