Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Timeshare Real Estate Tax Boost

Orange County Commissioners have passed an increase to Orange County's tourist tax rate. The rate will increase one penny, from five to six percent.

The tax will draw mainly from hotel and timeshare rentals and is expected to generate more than $900 million over the next 25 years.

Half of that money is earmarked for a new sports arena, a renovated Citrus Bowl and a new performing arts center; the rest will be for new tourism advertising.

County Commissioners are in the middle of a three-day budget workshop, deciding where to spend this timeshare tax and other money over the next year.

Lake County is looking at a similar increase. Commissioners are considering a 1-cent increase in tourist taxes that could help pay for a proposed performing arts center.

Right now, the county's bed tax is 4 percent.

Lake-Sumter Community College and the nonprofit Performing Arts of Lake & Sumter are the driving forces behind the 80,000 square-foot facility.

The increase is expected to bring in over $500,000 dollars a year.

Other groups, including the cities of Leesburg, Mount Dora and Minneola are also hoping to get a share of that timeshare real estate money.

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