TDC Meeting Agenda – Discuss Bed Tax Collections, Sports Marketing

by February 7, 2009 • 7 comments

Tuesday’s combined Panama City Beach Tourist Development Council/Convention and Visitors Bureau (TDC/CVB) should be a good one.  With presentations from Ellen Killough of the Visual Arts Center and Emerald Coast Cruizin, we should have a better idea of how some events went last year and what we are to expect this year.

The four board action items include consideration for approval the financial statements, Coastal Planning and Engineering Invoices, funding for the Northwest Florida Fly-in Visitor Survey, and enhancements to the Clerk of the Court’s Tourist Development Tax.

We’ll also see an update on Sports Marketing Activities and regular marketing activities, along with an update on the new web site.

You can download the agenda here, or view it below.


Bay County Tourist Development Council
Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
Panama City Beach
Tuesday, February 10, 2009                9:00 a.m.        Council Room, PCB City Hall



A.    Invocation
B.    Pledge of Allegiance
C.    Approve Minutes From the December 17, 2008, and January 12, 2009 Meetings


IV.    UPDATE ON BED TAX COLLECTIONS, Ms. Charlene Honnen, Tourist Development Tax Specialist


A.    Visual Arts Center, Ms. Ellen Killough, Executive Director
B.    Emerald Coast Cruizin’ Event, Mr. Robert Parrish


A.    Discuss and Consider for Approval CVB/TDC Financial Statements Dated November 30, 2008, and December 31, 2008, Mr. Dan Rowe, President
B.    Discuss and Consider for Approval Coastal Planning & Engineering Invoice #90118, Invoice #90119, and Invoice #90143, Mr. Dan Rowe, President
C.    Discuss and Consider for Approval Funding the Northwest Florida Fly-In Visitor Survey, Mr. Dan Rowe, President
D.    Discuss and Consider for Approval Enhancements to the Clerk of the Court’s Tourist Development Tax Collection Efforts, Mr. Bill Kinsaul, Clerk of the Court


A.    Update on Sports Marketing Activities, Mr. Richard Sanders, VP of Sports Marketing
B.    Update on Marketing Activities, Ms. Susan Estler, VP of Marketing





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1 Chris February 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm

IV. UPDATE ON BED TAX COLLECTIONS, Ms. Charlene Honnen, Tourist Development Tax Specialist

I have talked with Charlene on the phone and suggested to her that either she or someone else from the Bay County Clerk of Courts submit a request to the on-line Rental Advertisement sites (e.g. VRBO,, etc.). These sites can provide a list of people who rent their Bay County Rental Properties on-line. This list can then be cross-referenced against Charlene’s current list of people who are lawfully paying the Bed-Tax.

This type of request is in compliance with these on-line rental companies if the request is made by a government agency.

Jason or anyone else reading this comment, please make sure Charlene addresses this issue. There is a major problem with the way the Bed-Tax is currently being enforced.



2 LBResort 3 February 9, 2009 at 9:47 am

Under the county program, all the people that are registered have to file a report every month. Therefore, there is a current and updated list that could be used to see if a condo owner is in compliance. Since this is a public record, give us internet access so that we, compliant owners, can verify an owner before we report them. This would save Ms. Honnen time and we could make sure all of us are paying our share.

The list needs to be by owner’s name, Fl DOR name, and unit location if possible. It is realized that owners that use a management company are linked to the management company’s account. However, it is usually known if the unit is managed versus VRBO type ads.


3 Bryan Durta February 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Unfortunately, the list of bed tax collectors and the amounts they individually collect are not public records. Even the TDC only receives summary information. If you suspect that an owner is not collecting and/or reporting the tax, you might want explain your suspicion to the clerk’s office so that they can check their confidential records and possibly follow-up with the property owner.


4 Chris February 9, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Why does an individual who might suspect an owner of not paying their TDC tax have to make any effort? When I talked with Charlene, this was her solution. My comment to her was this is very inefficient. There are much more efficient ways of finding out who should be paying.

The Bay County Clerk of Courts which is who Charlene works for should submit a formal request to the on-line rental sites. Get a list of Bay County property owners advertising on these sites. Cross-reference this list against her current list. Its not that hard.


5 LBResort 3 February 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

What brain made the list confidential? If they are registered, they filled out a form that is a matter of public record. The clerk of court’s records are public as to who owns property,the tax assessor as to the value, and the tax commissioner as to whether the taxes are paid or not. The tax collections are paid to the clerk, so this is no different from the tax collector. We don’t care about the amounts paid as long as they are paying the bed tax they “say” they are collecting.

Give us access to the list and I bet that the compliance will increase within months. By having access to the list, people would be able to confirm or refute their “suspicions”. Thus, no false reports taking up Ms. Honnen’s time.

If I report someone, I will also give them the VRBO number so that they can see the ad for a rental on the beach. I expect that there should be more than a possible follow-up. If your not in business, you don’t need advertising.

Also, if they are not registered for the bed tax, then they probably are not paying state tax nor PCB license “tax” if they are in the city. Not only could we level the playing field, we could collect some taxes not paid in the last two seasons. The VRBO number will give the time line that they have been advertising their rental. I want everyone to experience the joy of figuring out the monthly forms that “have to be filed!”


6 Jason Koertge February 10, 2009 at 9:04 am

As with all hard and tedious work, if you figure out a good system, you can get it done. Figuring out who ISN’T paying should be a TOP PRIORITY. If we want more money, this is the lowest hanging fruit. We don’t have to get anything passed, go to any special meetings, or lobby any elected officials – all that needs to be done is hard work.