The Orange County Tourism Development Tax Task Force, a group assembled to advise on the spending of revenues collected from hotel stays off of the backs of our neighbors, is facing controversy. Specifically, accusations that the deck has been stacked in favor of the Convention Center. A venue darling of the special interest in Central Florida (story HERE).
We have to take these accusations seriously. Because it’s already happened once before.
The “Housing For All” Orange County Affordable Housing Task Force was the epitome of insiders ruining an initiative that myself, along with thousands of other county residents actually needed. They stacked that body with real estate salesman, developers, and lobbyists who did not serve with the hopes of helping families but to angle for policies that would put money in their own pockets.
Years later, our affordable housing situation is worse than it’s ever been. I still can’t make it back.
And I’ve watched these hearings. I’ve seen those lobbyists and insiders in the crowd, no doubt lobbing their empty compliments at the members of this task force before and after the meetings.
They could care less about you and I, they only care about getting our money for their projects.
Meanwhile, a letter I wrote to the task force was never acknowledged. I have no clue whether anyone ever saw it (story HERE).
Remember the Orlando special interest motto. “Never our money. Always your money”.
The answer for the Orange County Tourism Development Tax remains diversification through the state legislature.
But if we can’t do that, don’t spend it on a baseball stadium, or a convention center, or any other entity that can’t put it to work for our future.
Spend the money on our youth, and in finding enrichment through the arts and sciences. Let’s push into the future with an investment in education tied to the rules that we know we’ll help us.
Not more insider nonsense.