On Sept. 21, 2021, the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved to adopt an ordinance and amend the Tourism Development Plan to the proposed expanded footprint.
Should eligible voters elect to expand the tourism district from its current footprint south of the bay, the adopted ordinance will include a monetary set-aside of 12.5% of TDC revenues for all cities as an annual allotment for their tourism-related projects, which could include parks, trails, boat launches, soccer fields and other recreational improvements that would support tourists and residents alike. The allocation is directly tied to an interlocal agreement mentioned in the ordinance.
“I could not be more pleased with County leadership and the collaborative efforts of the municipalities within the county,” said Board Chairman Carolyn Ketchel. "Coming together for a consensus on these decisions now will positively impact the county as a whole.”
Additional changes to the ordinance include a change to in-house collection beginning Jan. 1, 2022, which is currently collected by the Department of Revenue. It also updates the Tourism Development Plan to incorporate additional types of tourism, such as ecotourism, sports tourism, agritourism and other types of tourism expected in the expansion area.
The approved Ordinance and related interlocal agreements are the result of many meetings and extensive coordination amongst our local governments. The nine municipalities and the County came together in workshops, most recently on September 8, 2021, to achieve a consensus. Today, the municipalities have reached a general consensus of approval.
More details on the current special election can be found at TourismWorksForOkaloosa.com