WALTON COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — After the controversy surrounding whether or not 40% of Tourist Development Council tax dollars should be used toward marketing, the Walton County TDC budget was discussed on Tuesday’s meeting.
“Certainly this statute, it looks clear but apparently it’s not,” said TDC Chairwoman Jennifer Frost.
According to the 2018 Florida Statute, when it comes to Tourist Development Tax spending, 40% of taxes collected are to be spent to promote advertising.
“It was discussed as 40% there was no other stipulation and no other discussion that there was any other interpretation,” said TDC Chairman Scott Russell.
In April, Walton County Commissioners went back and forth about that 40% spending rule. On Tuesday, Commissioner for seat five, Tony Anderson spoke up.
“I am very upset about how this whole thing was handled, I think everybody on this board assumed it was also 40%,” said Anderson.
The County Attorney Clay Adkinson said it is not a statutory requirement to spend 40% of collected tax dollars.
“I’m sorry you had bad information in your packet, but it was just that, bad information,” said Adkinson.
Going into talks about this year’s budget, Adkinson said the TDC will not spend 40%, and they have not for a couple of years.
TDC Director of Administration Jason Cutshaw is also serving as Interim TDC Executive Director. He said he wants to see more long-term plans after this spending clarification.
“We will keep providing a quality experience not just for the guests that visit but also for the residents that live here year-round,” said Cutshaw.
Nearing the end of the meeting, the TDC council said that they just want the best for their county whether that is north or south of the bay. Their goal is to protect those bed tax collectors.