Various groups are eyeing additional tourist tax money, in a bid that could send as much as $60 million to venue projects and marketing groups.
Sentinel reporters David Damron and Mark Schlueb detailed the plans in an A1 story Tuesday, saying officials are discussing the $60 million package and may link the projects together in the way they did when Orlando approved the construction of a performing arts center, new Amway Center and renovation of the Citrus Bowl.
The newly proposed tourist tax expenditures likely explains why County Comptroller Martha Haynie came out on the defensive when announcing the most recent tourist tax collections. Haynie said last week that while the tax was up 8.1 percent in May, the money is largely spoken for.
The package could include:
•$20 million in tourist taxes for a soccer stadium that would cost about $85 million in its first phase.
•$12 million or more in additional tourist taxes for the Citrus Bowl renovation that was approved in 2007.
•$25 million in additional tourist taxes for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
•An unspecified amount of additional tourist-tax money to boost existing advertising campaigns meant to lure vacationers and conventioneers.
See the full story here.