Jacksonville City Council to discuss proposal that would use new tax on restaurants, hotels to help homeless

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville City Council members will discuss a tax at Tuesday night’s meeting that would go to help the homeless. The tax would come from food and beverages sold at restaurants and hotels, similar to a model used in Miami-Dade County.

The CEO of Changing Homelessness, Dawn Gilman, told News4JAX last month that the model for this funding comes from Miami-Dade County.

In Miami, a one-percent tax on patrons at well-to-do restaurants goes to the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, which is the lead agency administering funding to nonprofits and other entities to help people experiencing homelessness. The tax only applies to those dining at restaurants with liquor licenses that bring in at least $400,000 a year, so for every $100 spent at such an establishment, $1 goes toward helping those in need.

Miami-Dade County has special permission from the state legislature to levy that tax locally, and City Councilmembers Jimmy Peluso and Michael Boylan want Jacksonville to have that opportunity, too.

Opponents say this tax would hurt restaurants in Jacksonville who are trying to recover from losses suffered during the pandemic.

Tell us, what do you think about a proposed hotel and restaurant tax to help the homeless in Jacksonville? Answer in the form below and your response may be read on a Channel 4 newscast.

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