Tourist Development Council
Grant Funding Programs
The state statute that regulates the funds used by the TDC is Florida State Statute 125.0104 -Tourist development tax; procedure for levying; authorized uses; referendum; enforcement. Okeechobee County TDC is 100% funded by the Tourist Development Tax (TDT). The TDT is a countywide 3% tax applied to short term overnight stays during a duration of less than 6 months. The TDT is not a tax collected by residents unless they are staying in local lodging but, rather, is paid by Okeechobee County visitors. Per the state statute which states that funds must be used to “promote and advertise tourism in the State of Florida and nationally and internationally; however, if tax revenues are expended for an activity, service, venue, or event, the activity, service, venue, or event shall have as one of its main purposes the attraction of tourists as evidenced by the promotion of the activity, service, venue, or event to tourists”. (“Tourist” means a person who participates in trade or recreation activities outside the county of his or her permanent residence or who rents or leases transient accommodations”).
The funding for the Promotional Hosting events is specifically for events that base the activity by the participants that are part of a group or organization that apply to participate or compete in the activity. The events that apply for this funding must have the majority of participants from out of the Okeechobee County area. For more information and to download and/or print click on the link below:
Special Event Activity Grants:
The funding for the Special Event Activity Host is for events or festival that are providing an activity or entertainment at the event that is intended to increase the events attraction of visitors to the event. For more information and to download and/or print click on the link below:
Advertising Reimbursement Grant:
The funding for the Special Event Marketing Advertising Reimbursement Grant funding is specifically for programs, festivals or special event that are requesting advertising dollars from Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council. The Advertising Reimbursement Grant is for eligible events or festivals that advertise for participants and visitors to the event, ticketed or non ticketed. Authorized reimbursable advertising must be for advertising or promotional information that is distributed/broadcast out of Okeechobee County for at least one overnight stay. Maximum of advertising funding to be applied for is up to $2,000.00 per day.