St. Johns County, FL – On Tuesday, July 20, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners allocated 40% of the additional one cent bed tax toward the improvement, maintenance, and renourishment of publicly-owned beaches, as well as an additional 40% of the one cent of bed tax for leisure and recreation. The additional one cent of bed tax, officially known as the Tourist Development Tax, is levied on short-term overnight stays at hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other overnight accommodations. The County will begin collecting the additional one cent in October. The levy of the additional one cent increases the County’s bed tax from 4 cents to 5 cents, and is estimated to generate an additional $3 million in revenue annually. The funding allocated for leisure and recreation can be used for tourist-oriented projects, including but not limited to boat ramps and sports complexes.
St. Johns County currently has beach and dune restoration projects underway or planned. The new funding generated by the Tourist Development Tax may be used for future beach renourishment projects.
During Tuesday’s commission meeting, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to remove the northernmost three-miles of Ponte Vedra Beach from an Army Corps of Engineers feasibility study as well as a one-time beach restoration project. This area’s erosion has not been as critical as the rest of the project areas, as sand migrates south from the neighboring Duval County Army Corps of Engineer’s project. This three-mile portion could be addressed in the future if conditions change. The exclusion will not affect the already approved FEMA Dune Enhancement Project, which will bring additional sand to the entirety of Ponte Vedra Beach later this year. The County is currently assessing the extent of renourishment needed for the section of Ponte Vedra Beach generally located between Sawgrass and the northern boundary of Serenata Beach Club, which includes Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park.
The additional funding from the one cent bed tax increase will also allow for an investment of approximately $300,000 annually in arts, culture, and heritage resources and approximately $300,000 annually in marketing and promotion.
5TH CENT TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX (TDT) REVENUE ALLOCATION
Each cent of TDT is anticipated to generate approximately $3.0 million in revenue during FY22