Waterscape resort condo rentals

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Destin Condos for Rent

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Although talking about leaving Okaloosa County may be just talk, it involves real issues. The Destin
City Council has become frustrated by providing most of the revenue for Okaloosa County every year through their tourist development, property sources, and numerous additional means. They are not seeing enough benefits for their efforts. One option being considered is annexing Destin into Walton County, and creating a tourist development department for the city. This created anger because the county had not budgeted for the efforts of the law enforcement provided by the Sheriff’s office for spring break. The country officials have plans to help pay for the cost.

The city of Destin was incorporated in 1984, encompassed 8.2 square miles, and provided approximately $59.5 million in taxes to Okaloosa County. An additional $11 million was provided by the taxpayers living on the unincorporated peninsula. If Walton County annexes Destin, the unincorporated areas will remain a part of Okaloosa County. Another issue is the $12 million generated by the hotels, condos, and properties for rent, the resorts in Destin, and the unincorporated areas.

Most options are unlikely, but the idea of Destin as a community stretching from the Bay County line, to the Marler Bridge has become an intriguing possibility. Walton County, and Destin have shared a border since the incorporation occurring in 1984. Until 1915, the area that is currently Destin, was a part of Walton County. The county was created more than a century ago by merging twelve miles of eastern Santa Rosa County, with twelve miles of western Walton County.

Another possibility is establishing a separate county for Destin. Unfortunately, history dictates this would-be a near impossible battle since it must be authorized by the Florida Legislature. This has not been accomplished since 1925, when Gilchrist City split from Alachua County. Five attempts have been made since then for the establishment of four new counties from 1917, until 2000. The last two attempts were made in 1999, and 2000, and neither effort was successful. The efforts were made in 1917 in Bloxham, and again in 1965 in Kennedy, and were also unsuccessful.

A new coastal city would be an incredible economic achievement. Destin is currently providing 27 percent of the taxes received by Okaloosa County, and South Walton contributes roughly ninety percent of the ad valorem taxes currently being collected in Walton county. The ad valorem tax roll receives 88 percent of their taxes from South Walton. This comes to $145,789,989.16, out of the total of all taxes collected in the amount of $165,493,361.43. The bed tax revenues are all collected in South Walton, and totaled $21,758,228 in 2016.

There are problems regarding incorporation in Destin that must be dealt with. The Destin City Council has set the date for the next meeting. The members of the city council intend to receive a report prior to the meeting. This is regarding the possibilities of Destin leaving the tourist development department for Okaloosa County, or Destin annexing into Walton County, and starting their own tourist development department.


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