2022 Legislative Priorities

Tourist Development Tax (TDT)

  • In 1977, the Florida Legislature passed the "Tourist Development Tax" (F.S.125.0104) at the request of Florida lodging executives. The purpose of the tax was to create dedicated revenue for tourism promotion and investment.

  • Now more than ever, CFHLA strongly advocates preserving the integrity of this "bed tax,” so that it is utilized for tourism-promotion purposes only. CFHLA strongly opposes any efforts to expand the allowable uses beyond tourism promotion including public facility projects such as transportation, sewage, etc.

VISIT FLORIDA Funding

  • CFHLA supports the public-private business model for VISIT FLORIDA and will continue to recommend a long-term continuation of its enabling statute.

  • CFHLA opposes any efforts to replace VISIT FLORIDA funding from the state budget with County-level TDT revenues. Local TDT revenues are committed to vital projects and organizations that generate visitation - providing local economic development and job creation. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s tourism industry must ensure significant recovery of travel in 2021 to realize revenue generation comparable to previous years such as 2018 when the state’s Tourism Industry employed more than 1.4 million Floridians.

Vacation Rentals Shared Lodging Platforms

  • CFHLA believes all vacation rental “shared lodging” operators should register as businesses with the State Department of Revenue, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and with their county Tax Collector. CFHLA supports initiatives to ensure “shared lodging” businesses also practice the same safety standards as traditional lodging to protect visitors. These standards include, but are not limited to; human trafficking awareness and prevention, regular health inspections, and COVID-19 hygiene and cleaning procedures.

  • CFHLA opposes any legislative efforts that would prevent local governments from regulating unregistered and "illegal" vacation rental properties listed on "shared lodging" platforms.

Data Privacy
  • CFHLA believes that individual companies should be able to make decisions on how they use, store, and share consumer data and information. Additionally, CFHLA believes that requiring businesses to respond to any consumers request and delete such information upon request, is unnecessary and the cost of compliance could be significant for small and medium-sized businesses.

  • CFHLA opposes any legislative efforts that impacts how companies use, store, and share consumer data.

Florida Timeshare Act

  • CFHLA supports ARDA’s legislative proposal, which seeks the clarification and modernization of several provisions in the Florida Timeshare Act. Beneficial revisions for owners’ associations include the option for meetings to be held virtually, an exemption from current requirements to deliver notices to an owner’s unit rather than address of record, clearer authority to act in an emergency, and streamlining the trustee foreclosure process to make it less time consuming.  The proposal would also allow developers to deliver certain documents to purchasers electronically and clarify provisions regarding the delivery and filing of other required documents. These proposed changes would help bring the statute up to date relative to the current business model and available technology.

Workforce/Affordable Housing

  • CFHLA believes that the Florida Legislature should continue to utilize the Sadowski Fund only for its intended purpose to develop quality workforce housing for the constituents of Florida struggling to find adequate living arrangements. CFHLA supports measures to minimize or remove the ability to diverge funds to the general budget. CFHLA will also support local initiatives to incentivize the development of workforce housing through the use, but not limited to, minimized impact fees and tax incentives.

Property Tax Extension

  • The tourism industry recognizes Florida’s property tax appraisal and collection schedule has created a situation where lodging properties facing significant revenue shortages due to COVID-19 will be appraised at a much higher value and owe taxes that no longer reflect their current value.

  • CFHLA is advocating for local Property Tax appraisers and collectors, to be given the short-term authority to allow for flexible and/or extended repayment options, as the Tourism Industry-related businesses continue to recover.

Other Issues CFHLA is Monitoring

  • Revisions to Florida Statutes 509
  • Revisions to Florida’s Building Codes