Christina Johnson

“The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), along with members of the Bed Tax Coalition, applaud Representative Gary Aubuchon’s (R-Cape Coral) actions today in pulling the controversial Tourist Development Tax (TDT) language out of House Bill 161.

The language would have allowed for an increase of the TDT to go toward unrelated purposes instead of tourism generating and marketing efforts. FRLA and the Bed Tax Coalition opposes this and any other attempts to divert much needed tourism dollars away from its original purpose. Simply put…Empty Beds Don’t Pay Taxes.

On behalf of FRLA and the Coalition, we thank the over 50 members of the restaurant and lodging industry who traveled to Tallahassee to participate in today’s press conference. Our speakers, Dominic Calabro, President/CEO of Florida TaxWatch; Carlos Molinet, Director of Operations for the LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels; and Grant Piché, Director of Operations for the Texas Cattle Company provided the media with personal anecdotes of the challenges facing large and small hoteliers, as well as restaurateurs, during these challenging times. We thank them for their testimony.

Our state is suffering from a global recession. Raising taxes or diverting taxes away from bringing visitors and their dollars to Florida hurts our state’s economy. Punishing our state’s number one industry and job provider simply doesn’t make sense. We are committed in keeping Florida’s tourism industry healthy and in sustaining jobs and tourism activities that fuels the state’s larger economy.”

For more information on today’s press conference, including talking points, video and photos, please go to www.FRLA.org and click on “Bed Tax Coalition.”

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In existence since 1946, the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association. FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry, improves the business climate, promotes the highest levels of quality and safety for our patrons, provides legislative advocacy, and eases navigation of government regulation. The Association represents and serves more than 10,000 independent and household name members, including theme parks and the largest casual theme restaurant company in the world. For more information, please go to www.FRLA.org.

CONTACT: Christina Johnson
850-339-5773
Christina@on3pr.com

February 10, 2009

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