Sarasota News Leader

03/28/2014

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During the Sarasota County commission- ers' budget workshop on Tuesday, March 25, Commissioner Joe Barbetta raised the question of how the county could use the approximately $800,000 increase in Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenue it realized in fiscal year 2013 above that collected in fis- cal year 2012. His idea: Promote additional tourism to keep that increase climbing. The conversation will continue during a bud- get workshop in May. Barbetta pointed out that investing that $800,000 in capital projects would be best for the county. Such projects are "economic generators," he noted. For examples, he sug- gested an aquarium in downtown Sarasota, a cultural center, a conference center or improvements at the Sarasota County fairgrounds. That same day, the board approved a $500,000 grant for one new tourism generator. (See the related article in this issue on the Knight's Trail Park Shooting Club.) "I want to invest more in assets … to generate more tourism for the community," Barbetta said. These projects also "benefit the commu- nity," he added. A chart shows the growth in Tourist Development Tax revenue over the past three fiscal years. Image courtesy Sarasota County Tax Collector's Office IN MAY, THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WILL DISCUSS HOW TO USE SURPLUS TOURIST TAX REVENUE TO BRING IN EVEN MORE VISITORS By Roger Drouin County Editor FUELING TOURISM

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