Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Two of Governor Scott's Bed Tax Priorities Conflict

Today is Tourism Day in the Florida Capitol! That means you can probably expect Governor Rick Scott to tout his push for more marketing money to push the state over the 100 million visitor mark for the first time next year.

Of course, election-year politics being election-year politics, Scott hasn't addressed how two of his recent pushes have come at-odds with each other.

While the governor wants Florida to boost its tourism marketing spending by 60%, much of how the state attracts visitors comes in the form of local marketing dollars. And those come from bed taxes.

Except the governor also wants local counties to use more bed tax dollars on spring training stadium subsidies. A new law last year ensures local subsidy dollars are matched with state subsidy dollars.

So everytime a local county spends more money on stadiums, its spending less on tourism marketing (not to mention necessary beach renourishment, the other major recipient of bed tax dollars).

Oh, and on top of that, a new bill moving through the legislature could encourage the luxuries of new stadium complexes to explode, since state funding could be limited to just projects that cost upwards of $100 million.
UPDATE: a proposed new Astros/Nationals stadium costs...whattayaknow? $100 million!
There's a lot of important questions that need to be asked of the legislature and governor...but if you had any hopes of actually getting answers...well...


  1. New reader to your blog. Got here a couple of days ago when looking for the Montreal Stadium Report. Love your work, well sourced and will be a regular reader.

    I have an Honours Bachelor of Sports Management from Brock U, in Ontario Canada, and one of my areas of interest is public subsidy funding of private stadia. Hopefully you continue on when/if the Rays stadium is resolved.

    1. Thanks Jake - although I'm not sure I've got to worry about post-stadium life here in Tampa anytime soon....

  2. Part (some cases, if not all) bed taxes are suppose to be funneled back into buying or paying to whatever will increase the opportunity to increase & cycle bed tax revenues...
    Again, it would nice to know the data & financial forecast the state has that would justify their stadium campaign, opposed to the same old "Oha no the Government wants to waste millions on some stupid stadium when I have potholes on my road that needs fixed (lol)". I mean common sense would lead anyone to believe these smart politicians do this for a reason, and it's probably not to just waste money (though it would be the 1st time if so), and piss off voters...

    1. "(though it (wouldn't) be the 1st...)"