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Lawmakers Consider Bed Tax Increase

February 10th, 2009 by flanews

Floridas hotels and restaurants are fighting legislation that would raise the bed tax from four to five cents and use the money to help Floridians buy homes.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association isnt against the increase, it just wants the money to be used to promote tourism. Right now the counties use the money they collect to attract visitors. The associations president Carol Dover says if the state doesnt pump the money into tourism, the budget deficit will widen.

If we dont get the tourist in the state, think about how many sales tax dollars were losing on top of the bed tax revenue. What about sales tax and all the other sales tax collections that were missing, said Dover.

An estimated 85 million people visit Florida every year, although tourism has been on the decline over the past 12 months.

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