APALACHICOLA, Fla. (WMBB) — The legislature is considering some changes that will seriously affect the state’s tourist development councils, but smaller counties said they already face roadblocks due to caps on spending.

Franklin County commissioners are lobbying with state representatives to change the language in the tourist development tax statute.

Commissioners said it benefits bigger counties but it doesn’t take into consideration rural, fiscally-constrained counties.

“Some of our resident’s complaints are that the infrastructure is getting worse and worse, but we’re not actually able to use our TDC tax dollars for that or TDT, for Tourist Development Tax, because of the what’s in the statute that we have to follow,” Franklin County Commissioner Ricky Jones said.

State law imposes a 10 percent limit for spending bed tax revenues on infrastructure.

Larger counties that collect $10 million or more per year can spend their money in a larger number of ways like sewer, water, and road projects, but Franklin County doesn’t even scratch the surface.

They brought in a little more than $3 million dollars, limiting them to just $300,000 dollars.

“The issue we’re having is we’re held a 10% on beach park facilities and our county’s about 53 miles wide. So for instance, a while back we did a new restroom facility in St. George Island. Well, the only way we could approach getting that building done was we had to actually go out and get a loan because we can only use 10% of our collective revenues a year for a facility at a beach park or at the beach,” Jones said.

Jones said the 10 percent threshold is preventing the county from completing projects along the water.

He argues changing the statutes would not hurt taxpayers, but would help make infrastructure improvements.

“This Tourist Development Tax we’re collecting it, we already have the money that we’re having difficulty trying to find ways to spend it because we have to stay within the framework of statute. We have to do what’s right,” Jones said.

Franklin County commissioners are hoping to work this into the legislative session.