WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Fishkind Conversations: Should Tourist Tax Revenue Fund Environmental Restoration?


Play Audio

Should tourism tax dollars be used to pay for environmental restoration- like cleaning up Florida's waterways? Photo: Silver River State Park. Matthew Peddie / WMFE

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

Environmental groups are applauding a plan from the Republican-led Florida House of Representatives to put tourism tax money toward environmental programs.   

But economic analyst Hank Fishkind tells 90.7’s Abe Aboraya it’s actually not such a great idea. 

“One of the major reasons we have serious environmental problems in Florida is that the state has failed in its responsibilities,” says Fishkind.

“For decades the State of Florida has allowed overpumping of the aquifer, thereby reducing water flow in the springs, while at the same time the state has permitted thousands of septic tanks in the watersheds that feed those same springs, overloading them with nitrogen.”

Fishkind says using tourist tax dollars to pay for environmental fixes merely shifts responsibility from the state to the counties. And he says while Florida could adopt the Las Vegas model and use some of its tourism tax revenue to pay for things like roads, schools and health care, tourism in Florida does need an advertising budget.

“Fundamentally, the tourism tax is generated by the tourism industry. It doesn’t fall out of the sky in Tallahassee, and to compete internationally requires world class convention centers and extensive tourism marketing, beyond the ability of any one theme park.”


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »

TOP