The Orange County Tourism Development Tax Task Force, was never about receiving input from the public regarding the revenues collected from hotel night stays in the area. Orlando hotels believe the money that we earn for them belongs to only them.
Instead, the TDT Task Force was about creating the appearance that they cared about listening to input over how that money should be spent.
However, it won’t be another failure by Orange County in its totality. You see, some honest members managed to slip in and ask real hard questions to the tourism special interests that were only there for acting practice, a photo, and another bullet on their resumes.
And the economic collectives and hotel groups had no answers for them. None. They were unprepared.
They’re not built for public debate. They do their fighting with their campaign checks and ad revenues from the money you earn from them. It’s cyclical. So when they have to answer questions out in the open over why they refuse to even talk about supporting affordable housing for their own employees, they fold up like tents.
Do you want to use this money to explore housing solutions for kids currently sleeping in cars, or do you want to keep supporting projects that have had plenty of help in the past and already operate in a realm of certainty?
Sadly, the motion faced resistance. And if it was anything else besides a buffed recommendation it might have failed.
Orange County Commissioners should still throw out most of the task force’s recommendations and host their own town halls to hear directly from you over how your money should be spent.
Throw this task force into the same pile of failed initiatives as the Housing for All Task Force which convened four years ago to also only serve the real estate and development lobby.
But at least we know what the sides are now.
Call your Orange County Commissioners and tell them to throw out the recommendations of this task force and hold their own town halls on the tourism development tax. Numbers HERE