Vote postponed on what to do with tax money set aside for arts center

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Posted at 5:11 PM, May 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-29 14:16:59-04

TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) – City Commissioners postpone a vote on what to do with money set aside to build a performing arts center. Some city commissioners want to reallocate these funds to different city needs, while others are still trying to push forward with building a performing arts center.

But right now, it's a stand still. Tallahassee City Commissioners voted 3 - 2 Wednesday night in favor of postponing a decision on what to do with the $4.1 million set aside from the hotel bed tax.

Every time someone stays in a hotel in Florida, an extra tax is taken to promote area tourism.

For every 5 cents collected by the county from the hotel bed-tax, one of them gets set aside, waiting to be used to build a performing arts center.

But Commissioner Scott Maddox says the center is a waste of time and money, “They've spent half a million dollars to try to get this center, and the reality of it is, it's not coming anytime in the future. So why do we keep collecting tax dollars for that purpose? I believe we should free the dollars up and use it for programs that are actually needed."

Maddox wants to re-allocate that money back into promoting local tourism.

However, Comptroller Bob Inzer, a main supporter of a performing arts center in Tallahassee, says it's truly necessary to foster growth for the region, “If you're trying to attract a highly educated, highly cultured audience…this is an amenity that those types of citizens are going to want and demand."

Either way, the other commissioners need more time to make a decision. Maddox explains, “I think the consensus on the city commission is they wanted more information so hopefully it'll come back soon."

But soon, is a relative term. According to Maddox, this issue won't be addressed by the city commissioners for at least another two months.