The Florida Panthers’ request for $87 million in tourist development tax funding from Broward County is now opposed by the area’s largest business organization.
After months of deliberation the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose the request at this time which it considers to be at the expense of other critical areas which are directly related to bringing tourists to the area.
“This deal would divert funds from other programs more directly related to driving tourism,” said Dan Lindblade, president and CEO of the Chamber. “We have worked hard to be good stewards of bed tax revenues and support and nurture the plan in place. Anything more spent on the Panthers would be at the expense of our key priorities,” he added.
The 60-member Board of top business leaders in the region outlined its priorities for tourist development tax funding as: beach nourishment, marketing the destination, and convention center expansion.
Broward County administration is currently reviewing the Panthers’ request and has not set a firm date to bring the item back for consideration.
Annually, hoteliers collect nearly $50 million in the county from guests at a rate of five percent on their bill at checkout. Those funds are used in a variety of areas, including the Panthers, based on a plan reviewed and approved annually by the Tourist Development Council and the County Commission.
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce is the largest and oldest business organization in Broward County. Established in 1910, the Chamber has 1,311 companies that employ more than 500,000 employees.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2014
Contact: Dan Lindblade, CAE