Sunday, April 13, 2014

County poised to raise tourist tax: Who should get $7 million? |

The point of contention is whether the extra money should go for beach renourishment, which some think is the major reason tourists come here to Palm Beach County in the first place. Or, should it go for more promotion and advertising, which would increase the numbers and thereby increase the total amount collected by the bed tax. Of course, since we have no decent hotel space within the city limits, with the exception of the Ixora and Silver Lions motels, it really doesn't impact Lake Worth one way or the other. By the way, included in the beach renourishment plans is $25 million for the Town of Palm Beach, one of our municipal neighbors. Click title for link to article.
Tourism is the county’s No. 1 industry with 5.5 million visitors in 2012, and it was the first sector to recover from the Great Recession. Pesquera [Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of Discover Palm Beach County] wants more than the agency’s current $10 million for traditional advertising and marketing to compete with Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and the Keys.
But what if Palm Beach County sells an inferior product?
“One of the main attractions to Palm Beach County is our beaches,” Deputy County Administrator Verdenia Baker said. And federal and state money is always in jeopardy and currently shrinking, she said.