In what was quite possibly the quickest TDC meeting that I’ve ever attended, the Panama City Beach Tourist Development Council unanimously (with the exception of Buddy Wilkes – who is out of the country) approved the adopted resolution to the use of the 5th cent of the bed tax. The tax increase is up for vote by the Bay County Commissioners tomorrow morning.
Florida statute mandates that TDC money levied through bed tax collections cannot be used “seat-guarantees”, but can be used for marketing purposes. Spefically with the application proposed, the money will be used for cooperative advertising with the low cost airlines targeting potential visitors to our area that would use the low cost carrier(s) that would fly into our new airport. If the increase in approved tomorrow this will allow 15 months of time to market to future potential feeder markets and hopefully give a low-cost carrier additional incentive and comfort in coming to the new Panama City Bay County International Airport.
Bay County Commissioner Mike Nelson, who is also a member of the Tourist Development Council said that he thought this would be much more acceptable to the County Commission.
One of the stipulations to the resolution is that at the end of 5 years, the TDC would need to come back to the County Commission to vote on the 5th cent again, otherwise, it would expire.