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Dedicated funding for Santa Rosa Beach renourishment

SANTA ROSA COUNTY   -- Erosion is a constant concern for coastal communities.
Santa Rosa County commissioners are looking at ways to keep their beaches beautiful and packed with sand.

One proposal is a "Dedicated funding source".
It would mean a one cent bed tax increase that could bring in several hundred thousand dollars.

Many of us have grown up on these beaches.  Almost taking this beautiful white sand for granted.
Over the years, the beach starts to erode.
Well the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council has a plan where a penny tax increase would go a long way in preserving the beach.
All you have to do us look at crosswalks that go out to it to see water is lapping on the stairs vs it was 30 meters away 2-3 years ago. Of course you notice.
Mark Shaw has seen the erosion first hand.  Every 10 years or so more sand has to be added to the beach to fight erosion. Well Santa Rosa County says Navarre Beach is due for some beach renourishment within the next year or so.   The price tag 12 million dollars.

We have a great reserve. We have two or three sandbars. It's very easy way to take the sand out of the sandbars and put it up on the beach but someone has to pay for it

Well to help pay that bill. The Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council is recommending a one cent bed tax so there is a dedicated source of funding to keep the beach beautiful. Sandy Dunn rents out her condo year round and feels a penny won't keep the tourists away.

I think no problem at all. People who rent my condo. One cent won't hurt them at all. They won't even know it. If it helps this beach, economy and keeps my value up. I'm all for that.

Increasing the bed tax from four cents to five cents will bring in about 300,000 dollars a year so after ten years that equals 3 million but still leaves them 9 million dollars short of the total cost for the project. The county is figuring out where the rest of the money will come from.

Its small money but you have to start somewhere
Ray Tubbs is visiting from Missouri and says he wouldn't mind paying just one percent more to make sure this beach is still here when he returns.  $5 isn't a whole bunch of money.

The board of county commissioners will discuss the tax increase Monday night.