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Town to receive additional $150,000 from tourism tax

The increase follows an agreement with Sarasota County after an additional percent was added to the amount collected from the tourism development tax.


Longboat Key expects to gain funding for its beaches as part of Sarasota County's tourism development tax.
Longboat Key expects to gain funding for its beaches as part of Sarasota County's tourism development tax.
Photo by Eric Garwood
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Longboat Key is expected to get another $150,000 from the Sarasota County tourism development tax's recently enacted sixth percentage point.

Town commissioners approved an agreement with the county last week, which now heads to the County Commission for final approval. 

The town already had a longstanding agreement with the county for the previous tax at 5%. 

The county qualified for the additional percentage point based on the amount of tourism development tax revenues that are collected annually within the county. 

“We have had a long-standing agreement to receive a portion of the tax collected back for beach renourishment costs and beach maintenance costs,” Town Manager Tom Harmer wrote in an email. 

Since the additional percentage point was approved by the County Commission, the county determined that those additional revenues would be allocated 70% for tourism based capital projects, 20% for beach nourishment and 10% for beach maintenance. 

The town requested a portion of collections from the additional revenue from tourism rentals in the town be sent back to the town for beach renourishment and maintenance.

With the addition of the 1 percentage point, Harmer estimates the county will collect just under $3 million from the town and receive about $748,000 back for an increase of just under $150,000 a year. 

Manatee County continues collecting 5% because it did not qualify to consider an additional percentage point. Annually, the town receives about $400,000 from the county after its collection of about $2.1 million. 

Last week, Harmer went before the Sarasota County Tourism Development Council to ask for their support of the town’s funding request. The council gave unanimous support, sending the agreement back to the county commission for final review and approval. 

The town funds beach work through a variety of sources including tourism taxes, state funding and a dedicated ad valorem tax with two millage rates: one for property owners west of Gulf of Mexico Drive and one for owners east of the island's main road. 

 

author

Lauren Tronstad

Lauren Tronstad is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2021. Before moving to Florida, she worked for the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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