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St. Johns County Ups “Bed Tax” On Hotel Stays

St. Augustine's City Hall is pictured during Nights of Lights.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS
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Beginning in October, St. Johns County will add an additional 1-cent tax to overnight stays in hotels, bringing the so-called “bed tax” there from 4- to 5-cents. 

The Tourist Development Tax, as it is formally known, is levied on short-term overnight stays at hotels and bed and breakfasts, and brings in about $13 million a year in revenue for the coastal county. When the tax hike goes into effect in October, the proceeds are forecast to rise to about $16 million a year. 

According to data released by the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, 40% of the expected $3 million in additional revenue will go towards tourism-related infrastructure, such as boat ramps and sports complexes. Another 40% will go towards beach restoration. The remaining 20% will be split between destination marketing and arts, culture and heritage projects. 

The allocation of the fifth cent is substantially different from the allocation of the other four cents. Taken as a whole, the largest portion goes towards destination marketing ($4.8 million), followed by beach maintenance ($4.2 million) and “administrative and special uses” ($2.4 million.)

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.

Sydney manages community engagement programs like WJCT News' Coronavirus Texting Service. Originally from the mountains of upstate New York, she relocated to Jacksonville from Kentucky, where she reported on Appalachia's coal industry.