County responds to Moss’ concerns about use of tourist tax receipts

Related story: MPO gets scolded by its newest member, Vero Beach Mayor Laura Moss

MARK SCHUMANN

It has been a little more than two months since Vero Beach Mayor Laura Moss threw a verbal Molotove Cocktail at the opening of a meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization.  Challenging the MPO’s priorities, Moss said, “On this list of projects there’s not a single one that benefits the City of Vero Beach. My question is how is that allowed to happen with all these millions and millions of dollars being spent and virtually none of it goes to the City of Vero Beach?”

Moss has since meet with County officials, who appear to be schooling the mayor in hopes of helping her understand what is possible, what is not, and why. After a recent meeting with Moss, County Administrator Jason Brown sent the mayor a follow-up letter in which he wrote, “We think it is counterproductive to take a parochial view of these revenues (tourist tax revenues) and expenses (Vero vs. Sebastian, Vero vs. unincorporated County).”

Attachments to Brown’s letter to Moss outline plans for a $4.8, beach restoration project along 3.1 miles of beach mostly within the City limits. Designated as “Sector 5,” the are extends from 2000 feet north of the Tracking Station Beach Park to the Gables Oceanfront Condominiums. The restoration project is to begin in late 2018.

Tourist taxes collected by businesses located within the City are remitted to the County, and are pooled with revenues from throughout the County. As Brown pointed out to Moss, even if Vero Beach were collecting its own tourist tax revenues, it would not be able to spend the money on beach restoration with out first holding a voter referendum.

Following in Brown’s letter to Moss, along with attachments.

 

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