Orange County mayor supports budget cuts amid tourism revenue losses

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings sent a memo to commissioners on Thursday, asking them to come prepared to express their stance on important budget issues at their next meeting.

Demings cited a “conservative estimate” of future Tourism Development Tax revenue.

“The Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond has been very, very conservative. His estimate of what the tourist development tax revenues would be in the coming years. There’s a little bit of volatility in the market space now in terms of tourism because of many reasons, the economy, some of the political issues and sensitivities, because of travel advisories that have been issued by different groups,” Demings said.

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The proposal includes illuminating funding for a new UCF Athletic Rower expected to cost the county $10 million a year for nine years.

The largest project to be cut is $145 million for the Phase 3 expansion project for the Dr. Phillip’s Performing Arts Center.

“I listened to our commissioners, have had a series of meetings, one-on-one with our residents and with different constituency groups. And so taking into consideration all of that, I came up with a plan of action to hopefully drive action and decision-making by the Board of County Commission in the coming months and years,” Demings said.

Demings said he’s optimistic funding for projects will be added once TDT revenues exceed the county’s current projections.

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Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.