The Orange County Tourist Development Tax (TDT) Citizen Advisory Task Force met for the seventh and final time on Monday, July 17, 2023.
The task force aims to review and provide input to the Board of County Commissioners and Tourist Development Council on potential uses of future, unencumbered TDT revenues within the current statutory framework.
The task force was co-chaired by Jane Healy, former Managing Editor of the Orlando Sentinel, and Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue Market President for the Central Florida region, and comprised of a diverse cross-section of Orange County residents, with members from government, trade groups, the hospitality industry, and Chambers of Commerce that represent the range of Orange County populations. The task force settled on five projects to receive a portion of the hotel tax revenue. Those projects include expanding the Orange County Convention Center, building a roof for Camping World Stadium, improvements at Amway Center and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and money for UCF sports facilities. After several weeks of meetings and reviewing dozens of proposals, many task force members also said they felt their options needed to be expanded by state law, which requires that tourist tax money be used to boost tourism. The task force recommended calling on Mayor Jerry Demings and county commissioners to push state lawmakers to approve allowing all Florida counties to charge an additional one-cent hotel tax, which could be used to pay for infrastructure and social projects. A vote on which individual projects will get funding will come at a later meeting.