Orange County establishes new Tourist Development Tax Citizen Advisory Task Force

Mayor Jerry L. Demings said it's his intention to comprise a group of citizens to review and provide input to the BCC and Tourist Development Council.

Photo courtesy of Orange County Government
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Orange County Government has established a new group: the Tourist Development Tax Citizen Advisory Task Force.

Mayor Jerry L. Demings said it's his intention to comprise a group of citizens to review and provide input to the Board of County Commissioners and Tourist Development Council on potential uses of future, unencumbered Tourist Development Tax revenues. 

"The TDT Citizen Advisory Task Force will be comprised of a diverse, cross-section of Orange County residents," Demings said in a press release. "We will exclude registered lobbyists, elected officials, or organizations that currently receive TDT funding or potentially may be seeking TDT funding."

Demings said the goal for the task force is to have representation from myriad geographical and socioeconomic levels. 

With over 59 million visitors a year, Orange County is easily one of the top travel destinations in the world. 

Tourism accounts for approximately 24% of employment in Orange County and is a $75 billion industry. 

Since the Orange County TDT's inception, proceeds paid by visitors who stay in hotels and short-term rentals have raised money to be used to invest in public facilities that draw millions of tourists annually to the Central Florida area. 

"The benefits of the TDT are far-reaching and have ensured our community continued to have a steady source of revenue to help us through some of the darkest days following 9/11, the economic recession in 2008 and the COVID-19 pandemic," Demings stated. 

TDT proceeds have been used to help a plethora of different projects including the building and maintenance of the Orange County Convention Center, Visit Orlando, Dr. Phillip's Performing Arts Center, Camping World Stadium and One Pulse Museum. 

Demings said he will appoint the co-chairs for the task force and in addition to commissioner appointments, he has invited each of the municipalities to recommend one representative to the task force. 

The TDT task force will be comprised of representatives from organizations including Orange County commissioners, Orange County municipalities, Walt Disney World, UCF Student Government and the Veterans Advisory Council. 

The task force will hold its first meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 22, in the BCC chambers. 

The TDT task force will complete its work by July 2023, concluding with a report to the Tourism Development Council and the BCC. 

"I am confident that with citizen input, we can determine the right course of action to invest TDT funds in our community that meets statutory guidelines and benefits our residents and visitors," Demings concluded. 



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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