Florida's tourism industry routinely plays watchdog against efforts by local governments to use hotel taxes to ease pressure on property taxes. Even spending "tourist taxes" on lifeguards can spark a fight.
But Miami-Dade County found a way to shift about $25 million in hotel-tax reserves, and then used the spare dollars to free up property taxes to be spent throughout the county's budget. With the hotel-tax reserves drained, Mayor Carlos Gimenez is facing a budget reckoning for the upcoming fiscal year and questions over just how strict those hotel-tax rules really are.
To try this at home, you'll first need a zoo funded with property taxes.
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