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Local Option Taxes Authorized by the Florida Legislature

Florida law authorizes local governments to impose several types of local option taxes. In some cases, the Florida Department of Revenue administers the tax for the local government and in other cases the local government administers the tax. When the Department administers the tax, its responsibilities include collecting the tax and distributing the funds to local governments to spend on locally authorized projects.

See below for brief descriptions of the local option taxes. For more details, including eligibility requirements, administrative procedures, formulas for distribution and revenue estimates, see the Local Government Financial Information Handbook. This publication is prepared yearly by the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research.

For data on local option and other taxes, visit the Department's Tax Collections and Distributions web page.

Discretionary Sales Surtaxes

Nine different types of local discretionary sales surtaxes (also called local option county sales taxes) are allowed by law and are potential revenue sources for county and municipal governments and school districts. Discretionary sales surtaxes apply to all transactions subject to the state sales and communications services taxes.

Discretionary sales surtax rates vary from county to county, and are set by the local government within the limits set by Florida Statutes. For a list of discretionary sales surtax rates, visit the Department's forms web page and select the current year Discretionary Sales Surtax Information (Form DR-15DSS) under the Discretionary Sales Surtax section, updated yearly in November. Read more about discretionary sales surtax.

The Department administers, collects, and enforces discretionary sales surtaxes. The Department transfers the proceeds of each county’s collections to the Discretionary Sales Surtax Clearing Trust Fund. Each county has a separate account in the fund.

The nine types of local discretionary sales surtaxes are:

  • Charter County and Regional Transportation System
  • County Public Hospital
  • Emergency Fire Rescue Services and Facilities
  • Indigent Care and Trauma Center
  • Local Government Infrastructure
  • Pension Liability
  • School Capital Outlay
  • Small County
  • Voter-approved Indigent Care

References: Sections 212.054 and 212.055, Florida Statutes

Local Option Fuel Taxes

County governments are authorized to levy up to 12 cents of local option fuel taxes in three separate levies on fuel sold within the county:

  • a ninth-cent fuel tax of 1 cent on every net gallon of motor and diesel fuel sold within a county.
  • A tax of 1 to 6 cents on every net gallon of motor and diesel fuel sold within a county.
  • A tax of 1 to 5 cents on every net gallon of motor fuel sold within a county. Diesel fuel is not subject to this tax. Funds may also be used to meet the requirements of the capital improvements element of an adopted local government comprehensive plan.

The Department administers, collects, and enforces local option fuel tax. The funds are used for transportation expenditures.

Note: The Florida Legislature has authorized the statewide equalization of local option tax rates on diesel fuel. It requires that the full 6 cents of the 1-to-6-cents fuel tax as well as the 1-cent ninth-cent fuel tax be levied on diesel fuel in every county, even though the county government may not have imposed tax on motor fuel or may not be levying the tax on motor fuel at the maximum rate. As a result, 7 cents' worth of local option tax revenue on diesel fuel is distributed to local governments, regardless of whether the county is levying these two taxes on motor fuel.

References: Sections 212.054 and 212.055, Florida Statutes

Transient Rental Taxes/Tourist Development Taxes

In addition to state sales and use tax and discretionary sales surtax, Florida law allows counties to impose local option transient rental taxes on rentals or leases of accommodations in hotels, motels, apartments, rooming houses, mobile home parks, RV parks, condominiums, or timeshare resorts for a term of six months or less. The revenues may be used for capital construction of tourist-related facilities, tourist promotion, and beach and shoreline maintenance; however, the approved uses vary according to the particular levy. Depending on a county’s eligibility, the maximum tax rate varies from a minimum of 3% to a maximum of 6%.

These local option taxes can be administered by the Florida Department of Revenue or by one or more units of local government. View a list of the County Local Option Transient Rental Tax Rates (Form DR-15TDT PDF Icon).

Reference: Section 125.0104, Florida Statutes (F.S.)

  • 1% or 2% Tax

    This tourist development tax may be levied by the county’s governing body at a rate of 1% or 2% on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. Generally, the revenues may be used for capital construction of tourist-related facilities, tourist promotion, and beach and shoreline maintenance.

    Reference: Section 125.0104(3)(c), F.S.

  • Additional 1% Tax

    In addition to the 1% or 2% tax, the county’s governing body may levy an additional 1% tax on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. Generally, the revenues may be used for capital construction of tourist-related facilities, tourist promotion, and beach and shoreline maintenance.

    To be eligible to levy the tax, a county must have levied the 1% or 2% tax for a minimum of 3 years before the effective date of the levy and imposition of this additional 1% tax. If the 1% or 2% tax is levied within a subcounty special district, then this additional tax can be levied only in the district.

    Reference: Section 125.0104(3)(d), F.S.

  • High Tourism Impact Tax

    In addition to any other tourist development tax imposed, a county with a high tourism impact may levy an additional 1% tax on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. The proceeds must be used according to s. 125.0104(5), F.S. The provisions in s. 125.0104(4)(a)-(d), F.S., regarding the preparation of the county tourist development plan do not apply to this tax.

    Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach and Pinellas Counties have imposed the high tourism impact tax after being certified by the Department as having met the required level of taxable transient rental activity.

    Reference: Section 125.0104(3)(m), F.S.

  • Professional Sports Franchise Facility Tax

    In addition to any other tourist development tax imposed, a county may levy up to an additional 1% tax on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. The revenues are used to pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance professional sports franchise facilities, retained spring training franchise facilities, and convention centers. These funds can also be used to promote Florida tourism, nationally and internationally.

    The provisions in Section 125.0104(4)(a)-(d), F.S., regarding the preparation of the county tourist development plan, do not apply to this tax. Also, the provision in Section 125.0104(3)(b), F.S., that prohibits any county authorized to levy a convention development tax from levying more than the 2% tourist development tax does not apply to this tax.

    Reference: Section 125.0104(3)(l), F.S.

  • Additional Professional Sports Franchise Facility Tax

    In addition to any other tourist development tax imposed, a county that has levied the professional sports franchise facility tax may levy an additional tax that is no greater than 1% on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. The proceeds are to pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance professional sports franchise facilities or retained spring training franchise facilities, and to promote tourism.

    The provisions in Section 125.0104(4), F.S., regarding the preparation of the county tourist development plan, do not apply to this tax. Except for Miami-Dade and Volusia Counties, any county that has levied the professional sports franchise facility tax is eligible to levy this tax. Any county authorized to levy the consolidated county convention development tax is permitted to levy this tax. This waiver applies only to Duval County.

    Reference: Section 125.0104(3)(n), F.S.

Tourist Impact Tax

Any county creating a land authority under Section 380.0663(1), Florida Statutes (F.S.), is authorized to levy a 1% tax on transient rental facilities within the county area that is designated as an area of critical state concern under Chapter 380, F.S. If the area(s) of critical state concern are greater than 50% of the county’s total land area, the tax may be levied countywide. View a list of the County Local Option Transient Rental Tax Rates (Form DR-15TDT PDF Icon).

The funds are used to buy property in the area of critical state concern and to offset the loss of ad valorem (property) taxes due to those land acquisitions.

Designated areas of critical state concern include the Big Cypress Area (mainly in Collier County), the Green Swamp Area in Central Florida, the Florida Keys Area in South Florida, and the Apalachicola Bay Area in Franklin County.

Reference: Section 125.0108, F.S.

Convention Development Taxes

Duval, Miami-Dade, and Volusia Counties are authorized to levy convention development taxes on transient rental transactions. Generally, the revenues may be used for capital construction of convention centers and other tourist-related facilities as well as tourist promotion; however, the authorized uses vary according to the particular levy. Three of the five available levies apply to separate taxing districts in Volusia County. The tax rates are either 2% or 3%, depending on the particular levy. View a list of the County Local Option Transient Rental Tax Rates (Form DR-15TDT PDF Icon).

Reference: Section 212.0305, Florida Statutes (F.S.)

  • Consolidated County Convention Development Tax

    Each county operating under a government that is consolidated with one or more municipalities in the county may impose a 2% tax on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. The county designates the authority to administer and disburse the tax proceeds and any other related source of revenue. Currently, only Duval County is eligible to levy this tax. Duval County administers, collects, and enforces this tax.

    Reference: Section 212.0305(4)(a), F.S.

  • Charter County Convention Development Tax

    Each county, as defined in Section 125.011(1), F.S., (i.e., Miami-Dade County) may impose a 3% tax on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. Currently, only Miami-Dade County is eligible to levy this tax. Miami-Dade County administers, collects, and enforces this tax.

    Reference: Section 212.0305(4)(b), F.S.

  • Special District, Special, and Subcounty Convention Development Taxes

    Any county that meets the law’s requirements may impose a tax of up to 3% on the total amount charged for transient rental transactions. The tax proceeds are used to promote and advertise tourism, and to fund convention bureaus, tourist bureaus, tourist information centers, and news bureaus. Three separate taxes are authorized in three separate taxing districts, but the combined effect is a countywide tax. Currently, only Volusia County is eligible to levy this tax. Volusia County administers, collects, and enforces this tax.

    References: Sections 212.0305(4)(c)-(e) and 212.03055, F.S.

Local Option Food and Beverage Taxes

Any county, as defined in Section 125.011(1), Florida Statutes (F.S.), may impose two separate taxes:

  • A tax of 2% may be imposed on the sale of food, beverages, and alcoholic beverages in hotels and motels. The funds are used to promote the county and its municipalities as a destination for conventions, trade shows, and pleasure travel.
  • A tax of 1% may be imposed on the sale of food, beverages, and alcoholic beverages in certain establishments. The county must use at least 15% of the funds to build and operate domestic violence centers. The remainder is used to help the homeless or those about to become homeless.

Currently, only Miami-Dade County is eligible to levy these taxes. Miami-Dade County administers, collects, and enforces this tax.

Reference: Section 212.0306, F.S.

Municipal Resort Tax

Certain municipalities may impose a municipal resort tax for tourism promotion activities, capital construction and maintenance of convention and cultural facilities, and relief of ad valorem (property) taxes used for those purposes. They may levy up to 4% on transient rental transactions and up to 2% on the sale of food and beverages consumed in restaurants and bars. Currently, only three municipalities in Miami-Dade County (Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, and Surfside) are eligible to impose this tax. These municipalities administer, collect, and enforce the tax in their municipality.

Reference: Chapter 67-930, Laws of Florida, as amended by Chapters 82-142, 83-363, 93-286, and 94-344, Laws of Florida