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Increase in Franklin County Bed Tax Revenue

By: Jerry Askin Email
By: Jerry Askin Email

Even after the Gulf oil spill, Franklin County still saw an increase in visitors living in lodging facilities throughout the county.

The Water Street Hotel in Apalachicola is one of many hotels people live in when they come to vacation along the coast.

Curt Blair, who owns the hotel, says despite the April 20th oil spill, the county still managed to have an increase this year in it's bed tax revenue.

The county began collecting this 2% bed tax in 2005. The tax is accessed to visitors staying overnight in hotels, motels and beach homes in the town. The bed tax revenue this past fiscal year is the second highest it's been since 2005.

Blair says the tourism numbers dropped about 20% in the county after the oil spill and now the tourist council is trying to rebuild the market and bring folks back to the area.

"The tourism industry has returned to where it was before the spill and now our challenge is to convince our national tourist that that's the case so that they'll start coming back in 2011" says Blair.

He says while the tourism numbers were down, the county still maintained adequate bed tax funding because of the several BP related workers living in the lodging facilities after the oil spill.

Residents like Helen Tudor says she's grateful that business seems to be picking back up along the coast.

Tudor says, "It's a beautiful place, there's no oil here, we have wonderful things in this town."

County officials say this fiscal year they've collected $754,000 dollars from the bed tax.


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