TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council dedicated new funding sources Thursday to improve the Tampa Convention Center.
Officials found nearly $700,000 in the TDC's accounts that will be used to fund the work. That's a fraction of the $14 million in capital improvements the 22-year-old hall will eventually need to stay competitive with Orlando.
The council, a mix of public and private officials, is still considering changes in how it disburses the county's 5 tourist development tax. The tax on every hotel bill generates nearly $12 million annually, which goes toward tourism marketing and popular attractions.
The council is considering giving more money to the convention center and the county's tourism agency, Visit Tampa Bay, and less to institutions like the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, the Florida Aquarium, Lowry Park Zoo and the Museum of Science and Industry. Those organizations oppose losing their share of the tax.