Pam Childers
Pam Childers

Clerk discloses Admin fees in response to inquiry on Tourist Development Tax

The Escambia County Clerk of Court has responded to a request by the Tourism Development Council (TDC) regarding an audit of the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) program. The Clerk has provided documents showing both direct and indirect amounts collected and costs incurred from the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for fiscal years 2018, 2019, and 2020. Specifically, these documents are alleged to disclose the specifics of the Clerk’s 3% Administrative fee, allowable under Florida Statutes.

 

For historical context, in December, David Bear, the chair of the TDC, expressed his concerns of the Administrative Fees in particular.

 

“Outside of the overall county annual budget, there is no real independent audit reviewing the clerk’s expenditures or the county’s expenditures of TDT to ensure they comply with the statute and ordinances authorizing those activities,” he said.

 

Escambia County Clerk and Comptroller Pam Childers did not share Bear’s concern. “I don’t see this as a high risk area. I would not call for an audit,” Childers had previously expressed.

 

Four months later on April 26th, Childers sent an email which she said contained a “full disclosure on the Clerk’s 3% Administrative fee allowed by Florida Statutes,” in an effort to fulfill Chairman Bear’s previous request.  “This documentation is the same documentation we would provide in an audit environment,” Childers stated in her email.

 

The documents also state that a “Conclusion” that the “Administration Fee was within 3% of Actual Cost Allowed.”

 

For more on the history, read our coverage here:  

Bed Tax Expenditure Audit Runaround: Clerk Won’t Move Forward.

 

The newest documents can be viewed here:

TDT Cost Allocation Calculation- Fiscal Year 2018

TDT Cost Allocation Calculation- Fiscal Year 2019

TDT Cost Allocation Calculation- Fiscal Year 2020

 

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