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Tourism tax referendum passes in Walton County

Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:03 PM CST
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Walton County residents north of the Choctawhatchee Bay also decided people who come through the area and stay in their hotels and motels will pay a bed tax.

The bed tax already exists in South Walton, where the economy is greatly dependent on tourists coming in.

The tax helps pay for marketing the area, so the idea is that implementing this in North Walton would bring more visitors to that part of the county, helping the economy and jobs.

Visit South Walton’s David Demarest explains why the tourism tax is so important to Walton County.

“If you live in an area where you think somethings really special, people need to know about it, marketing is the way to get them there, and when they’re there, they’re going to benefit your economy, in South Walton, that saves people taxes, it creates jobs, and it really drives our economy, so it’s create that we get to do that marketing, and we don’t have to spend any local money,” Demarest said.

The tourist development tax is only paid for by visitors to Walton County, not residents.

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