Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Tourist Development Tax (TDT)?
Tourist Development Tax (or TDT) revenue is generated by a tax on hotel stays and other short-term rentals that are less than six months in duration. Also sometimes referred to as the “bed tax,” TDT was enacted by ordinance in 1978 following a successful voter referendum. Currently, the TDT levy for Orange County is 6 percent of every lodging bill. The tax amount varies by county throughout the state. Orange County collects, by far, the largest share of TDT of any county in the state of Florida.
How much is generated through TDT?
Fiscal Year 2022 was a record setting year for TDT as revenues totaled more than $336 million. The previous annual collection record was $284 million, set in fiscal year 2019. Fiscal years 2020 and 2021 were negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic with collections of $167 million and $177 million respectively.
How is the money used?
The Tourist Development Tax funds tourism-related expenditures (in Orange County that is the convention center, venues, the arts, tourism promotion, etc.). TDT expenses for the convention center, sports facilities, and tourism promotion were contained in the original enacting resolution approved by the voters.
Major uses in Orange County are:
- Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)
- Tourism promotion (i.e., Visit Orlando)
- Arts, museums, and events (through Arts & Cultural Affairs, Grant Application Review Committee, and Sports Incentive Committee)
- Venues (e.g., Amway Center, Camping World Stadium, Dr. Phillips Center)
Florida law sets out different allowable uses for the various percentages of TDT. Orange County uses those percentages in the following ways:
- 1st to 4th percent: Orange County Convention Center debt, operations and maintenance; tourism promotion; tourism development plan uses; and arts.
- 5th percent: Orange County Convention Center debt
- 6th percent: 50 percent tourism promotion/50 percent to City for Amway Arena debt
The Tourist Development Council advises on expenditures of the tax and reports to the Mayor and the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, who approve TDT uses.
How did the county use the $336 million collected in fiscal year 2022?
Tourist Development Tax Uses FY 2022
|Tourism Promotion (Visit Orlando)
|Allocation to Reserves
|OCCC & City Venues Debt
|Amway Arena Debt Payments to City of Orlando
|Sports Incentive Payments
|Orange County History Center
|Comptroller Collection Fee
Why can’t TDT support schools and other government services?
Florida State law governs uses and it does not allow its use for schools, public safety and general government services in Orange County. However, unlike some other states that only impose a tourist tax, Sales Tax is also collected on short-term stays in Florida, with a significant portion of those revenues being utilized to fund education and other general government services.