Cities & Okaloosa County could come to an agreement over Bed-Tax expansion

It seems as though as of earlier this week, an agreement between all municipalities may have actually happened.

As you know, Okaloosa County is trying to expand the Bed-Taxing District countywide. Currently, the district runs from the county-line in Destin to eastern parts of Mary Esther, and then south of the Bay.

Since the announcement, there has been some opposition from Destin surrounding the expansion as stakeholders want to make sure that the money split is “fair and equitable”.

  • This led to a conflict resolution between all parties involved and has been going on since August 18th.

Well, it seems as though as of earlier this week, an agreement between all municipalities may have actually happened.

On August 18th, the County proposed setting aside 12.5% of the annual Tourist Development Tax collections to be used by the municipalities subject to the nine municipalities agreeing to an Interlocal Agreement detailing how those funds would be earmarked for each municipality.

  • The municipalities agreed to have staff and attorneys meet again on August 24th to discuss how the funds would be earmarked for each municipality.

The August 24th meeting resulted in terms that staff and the attorneys agreed to take back to their city councils for consideration.

  • These terms have not been made publicly available yet but will be provided to the Council-members in advance of their meetings.
  • According to a memo from the City of Destin, attorneys and staff will continue working collaboratively with other muncipalities’ attorneys and staffs towards the drafting of a formal Interlocal Agreement.

The City of Destin will have a regular city council meeting on Monday. The City of Fort Walton Beach is expected to call a special meeting sometime next week.

Even if approved by all municipalities, the Agreement will still have to go before the Board of County Commissioners and be approved.

The mail-in ballot only election is scheduled for October 5.

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