By Cindy Jackson
January 12, 2021
Following a workshop held on Monday, January 11, 2021, intended to “demystify” (as described by County Manager Taco Pope), the role of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) and the Tourist Development Tax (TDT).
The Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (AITDC) is an organization whose members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. It provides recommendations to the BOCC on tourism related matters including the expenditure of dollars collected through Tourist Development Tax (TDT). The AITDC is funded from TDT, also commonly referred to as the “bed tax” imposed on lodging establishments including hotels, motels, AirBnBs, etc. Currently, however, the “bed tax” is only collected from such businesses on Amelia Island. Commissioner Aaron Bell was very direct when he asked if the new hotels springing up at the crossroads of I-95 and A1A were subject to the tax and that answer was no.
After some additional discussion, the Board of County Commissioners voted to schedule a special meeting for February 17, 2021, to discuss further (and potentially take action on) three tourism related projects. County Manager Taco Pope noted that these three projects, “warrant more discussion than we have time for today.”
Those projects are the Amelia Island Florida Environmental Branding Initiative on which Dawson and Associates is the firm of record; the Amelia Island Beach Front Parks Branding Harmonization and Enhancement Initiative, which is considered part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan update undertaken with Dr. David Barth of Barth and Associates; and, the American Beach Community Master Plan.
All were in agreement that collaboration and cooperation between Dr. Barth and Dawson Associates is important to the success of the projects.
Again, the meeting to discuss in greater detail three on-going tourism projects has been scheduled for February 17th, 2021. In the meantime, the Department of Planning and Economic Opportunity has videos and copies of relevant reports available on their website at https://www.nassaucountyfl.com/132/Reports-Studies