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Miami Beach Short Term Rental Regulation: A Guide For Airbnb Hosts

Miami Beach, Florida

What are short term rental (Airbnb, VRBO) regulations in Miami Beach,Florida?

Navigating the rules around short-term vacation rentals in Miami Beach can be tricky for aspiring hosts. With its vibrant tourism industry and popular events like Art Basel, Miami Beach draws visitors eager to experience the glitz and glam of South Beach. Renting out apartments, condos or homes on a short-term basis via sites like Airbnb and VRBO can seem like an appealing way for homeowners to cash in.

However, the City of Miami Beach tightly regulates these types of rentals through zoning restrictions, licensing requirements, taxes and fines. Unlike some destinations that have taken a hands-off approach, Miami Beach carefully monitors short-term rental activity within city limits. Officials want to maintain the residential character of certain neighborhoods while also generating tax revenue from the booming tourism trade.

This article will break down the nitty-gritty details on legally operating a short-term rental in Miami Beach. We’ll cover the permitting process, tax obligations, zoning regulations, occupancy limits and enforcement tactics. While the local laws can be complex, our guide aims to provide clarity for residents considering listing their properties. We’ll also share advice from veteran hosts on how to avoid common pitfalls.

So whether you’re a first-timer testing the Airbnb waters or a seasoned landlord hungry for tips, read on for an in-depth look at Miami Beach’s rules for short-term vacation rentals. Consider this your handbook for successfully navigating the region’s restrictive—yet lucrative—rental market.

Starting a Short Term Rental Business in Miami Beach

Renting out your Miami Beach property on a short-term basis can be an appealing way to generate income. However, the city has extensive regulations in place for short term rental hosts. Operating legally requires proper licensing and registration.

As a professional copywriter helping clients navigate Miami Beach's short term rental landscape, I provide straightforward guidance on launching a compliant, successful listing.

The very first step is determining if your property complies with zoning restrictions. Miami Beach prohibits short term rentals in all single family residential areas, as well as certain multi-family districts. The city's interactive zoning map shows eligible areas.

If zoning permits a short term rental, hosts must then register with the city. This includes obtaining a business tax receipt and resort tax certificate number. These credentials must be clearly displayed in your Airbnb, Vrbo or other listing.

Additionally, your listing must adhere to occupancy limits based on the number of bedrooms. You'll need to pass safety inspections related to fire prevention, proper exits and more.

Short Term Rental Licensing Requirement in Miami Beach

Miami Beach has strict regulations for short term vacation rentals. As a host, you must obtain the proper permits and licenses before listing your property.

The city requires all hosts renting out homes, condos or apartments for less than 180 nights per year to register with the Miami Beach Finance Department. This applies even if you plan to rent your place out for just a few weekends annually on sites like Airbnb or Vrbo.As part of the registration process, hosts need to get a business tax receipt (BTR) and a resort tax certificate number. These license numbers must be clearly displayed in your online listing descriptions and ads. Printing them in your welcome guide is also recommended.

Exemptions to licensing exist only for licensed hotels/motels and long term rentals over 180 consecutive nights. For example, a traveler booking your place for 6 months would be exempt. However, the vast majority of short term stays under 6 months require licensing in Miami Beach.

The fines for operating an illegal vacation rental in Miami Beach start at $20,000. And they double with each repeat offense. So properly licensing your property is not optional.

By obtaining your BTR and resort tax certificate before listing your Miami Beach property online, you can rent worry-free knowing that you comply fully with city regulations. Your guests will appreciate that your listing is above board as well.

Required Documents for Miami Beach Short Term Rentals

Operating a legitimate short-term rental in Miami Beach requires proper registration and licensing. Failing to obtain the mandatory paperwork can result in stern penalties.

As an aspiring host, be aware that you must have the following documents ready before welcoming any guests:

Florida Vacation Rental License

This state-level permit allows the property to be utilized as a temporary accommodation. All owners seeking to provide lodging for under 30 days must obtain it. Fees and application details are available through Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

City of Miami Beach Business Tax Receipt

Prior to listing your space, you must register it with the local government and pay an annual business privilege tax. This municipal license proves that you are running a lawful enterprise. Schedule an appointment with the Finance Department to take care of everything.

Resort Tax Certificate

In addition to normal sales tax, Miami Beach levies special tourist taxes on overnight visitors. As the facilitator of a short-term rental, you must collect and remit these extra charges. The city will furnish an official certificate number to display in your advertising.

Condo Association Approval Letter

For those renting out units in multi-family buildings, written consent from the homeowners association is mandatory. Ensure that your condo board or landlord formally authorizes short-term sublets before moving ahead.

Securing this paperwork is the only way to operate legally in Miami Beach. Skipping any of the required permits can prompt penalties of up to $20,000. Don't put your business at risk - take care of the licensing needs in advance. Reach out to the city's Planning and Finance Departments for guidance if you have any questions.

Miami Beach Short Term Rental Taxes

As a professional short term rental host in Miami Beach, you must collect and remit several taxes that generate revenue for the city and county. It is crucial to understand these tax obligations before listing your property. Failure to comply can result in severe penalties from multiple government agencies.I will clearly outline the specific taxes you need to charge guests and regularly pay as a host below.

City of Miami Beach Tourist Tax

The first tax is the City of Miami Beach Tourist Tax , which is 4% of rental revenue. This applies to all short term stays in the city limits under 6 months. You need to collect this 4% tax from your guests' nightly rate when they book and save it to later submit to the city finance department.The tax submission process and payment deadlines vary based on your total annual revenue. Be sure to consult the city's website for full instructions tailored to your rental income bracket.

Miami-Dade County Tourist Tax

Additionally, Miami-Dade County charges a Tourist Development Tax of 2% on all short term rentals in the region. So you must add an additional 2% county tax to the nightly rate paid by your guests.The county tax also gets remitted on a regular basis, using their specific filing procedure. Carefully review the county requirements to avoid any compliance issues.

Florida Sales Tax

Lastly, the state of Florida has a 6% Sales Tax that applies to short term rental income.As the host, you need to register with the Florida Department of Revenue to collect and submit this 6% sales tax on all bookings in Miami Beach.The state has strict deadlines for tax payment, with steep financial penalties for late filings. Be diligent in adding this sales tax to guest charges and meeting all filing requirements.

Key Takeaways

In summary, short term rental hosts in Miami Beach need to charge guests 4 separate taxes:

  • 4% - City of Miami Beach Tourist Tax
  • 2% - Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Tax
  • 6% - Florida Sales Tax

You must regularly collect these taxes upon booking and submit payments to each governmental body based on their specific schedule, forms, and procedures. Failure to comply can trigger severe fines.

Miami Beach wide Short Term Rental Rules

Miami Beach has comprehensive regulations regarding short term vacation rentals across the city. These rules restrict short term rentals based on zoning district in order to preserve neighborhood character.

As a professional copywriter engaging readers on this topic, I will clearly explain the key requirements in an easy to understand manner.

The city prohibits short term rentals (stays less than 180 consecutive nights) in all single family residential areas. This includes estates, single family homes, and duplexes zoned SF, SD-B.4, and RM-1.

Additionally, short term rentals are banned in certain multi-family districts zoned RM-2 and RM-3 between specific boundary streets. Refer to the city's short term rental zoning map for exact restricted areas.

For properties eligible to register as short term rentals based on zoning, Miami Beach enforces occupancy limits. The maximum overnight guests in a short term rental unit depends on the number of bedrooms:

  • Studios & 1 bedroom: 2 guests
  • 2 bedrooms: 4 guests
  • 3 bedrooms: 6 guests
  • 4+ bedrooms: 10 guests

There are no exceptions to these overnight guest limits for special events. Property owners who violate these occupancy restrictions face strict penalties and fines.I aimed to directly state the key short term rental rules in Miami Beach related to zoning and occupancy. ts.

Does Miami Beach strictly enforce STR rules?” Is Miami Beach Airbnb friendly?

Miami Beach takes an extremely strict approach towards regulating short term vacation rentals within city limits. The city rigorously enforces zoning codes and licensing requirements for listings on platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo.Fines for operating an illegal short term rental in Miami Beach start at $20,000, doubling with each repeated offense. The city issues violations proactively through data mining rather than relying solely on complaints. Miami Beach also conducts in-person inspections and audits of properties suspected of violating regulations.

While the subtropical locale and vibrant culture attract many visitors, hosts cannot assume Miami Beach as an Airbnb-friendly city. Its stringent enforcement should dissuade anyone considering ignoring short term rental ordinances.

Property owners interested in supplemental income through short term rentals should carefully consult the city's zoning map. Additionally, hosts must properly license and register listings while adhering to strict occupancy limits. Those unwilling to undergo inspections and adhere to regulations are best seeking income elsewhere.

In summary, Miami Beach maintains an aggressive, no-nonsense approach to short term rental enforcement. The city's strict fines and proactive audits make operating in violation an extremely high-risk proposition for hosts. While the visitor demand exists, the regulatory environment requires diligent adherence from prospective hosts.

How to Start a Short Term Rental Business in Miami Beach

Starting a legal and compliant short term rental business in Miami Beach requires following several key steps - but the effort is well worth the lucrative returns from the area's high tourism demand.

1. Choose the Right Miami Beach Property

Select your short term rental property wisely by reviewing Miami Beach's zoning map and short term rental ordinances. Opt for a property that is legally eligible - most single family homes are banned. Condos and multi-family units that allow transient use are best.

2. Obtain a Florida Vacation Rental License

Every Miami Beach rental under 6 months needs a state-issued license number clearly posted in listings. The fast online application only takes minutes. As the designated operator, your name and contact will be listed.

3. Register with the City of Miami Beach

You must hold an active Miami Beach Business Tax Receipt to legally operate any vacation rental. Submit the short online form through the city's vacation rental portal with your license and contact information.

4. Get a Miami Beach Resort Tax Certificate

The certificate number allows you to collect required Miami Beach resort taxes from guests. You can register instantly after obtaining your business license.

5. Pass Inspections and Get HOA Approval

Your property must meet safety standards with working fire alarms, extinguishers, egresses, and more. Schedule an inspection once registered. If renting a condo, get HOA approval.

6. Create Your Listings and Display Licenses

Now your short term rental is ready for guests! Be sure to prominently showcase license details and numbers in all listings and ads.

7. Collect and Remit Taxes

As the operator, you must collect and submit all applicable Miami Beach taxes from rental income each month. This includes resort taxes, sales tax, etc.And that's it!

By following these 7 steps as a short term rental host, you can seamlessly navigate Miami Beach's strict registration process and start earning. With the area's high tourism demand, your vacation rental income potential is huge.

Who to contact in Miami Beach about Short Term Rental Regulations and Zoning?

Operating a legal short term rental in Miami Beach requires proper licensing and adherence to zoning restrictions. Navigating the regulations can feel overwhelming for new hosts.Fortunately, the city provides resources to answer questions. Here is exactly who to contact for guidance on specific short term rental issues:

For Licensing Inquiries:

Miami Beach Finance Department Phone: 305-673-7490 Email: [email protected]

The Finance Department handles business tax receipt registration, resort taxes, and collection of rental revenues. Contact them to ask about:

  • Requirements for obtaining a business license
  • Submitting transient rental taxes
  • Qualifying for resort tax exemptions
  • Verifying license status

For Zoning and Land Use Questions:

Miami Beach Planning Department Phone: 305-673-7550 Email: [email protected]

What do Airbnb hosts in Miami Beach on Reddit and Bigger Pockets think about local regulations?

Hosts who operate short term rentals in Miami Beach have strong opinions about the city's strict regulations. Conversations on Reddit and the real estate investor forum BiggerPockets reveal insight into how hosts navigate Miami Beach's tight rules.

Reddit users clearly advise properly registering all listings to avoid major fines:

"They will eventually catch you so don't try to cheat the system in Miami Beach!"

One host explains their experience with fines:

"I tried to save money by not registering at first. Big mistake. Miami Beach slapped me with a $20K fine the first time. I registered immediately after that."

Other Reddit hosts echo similar warnings. User miamirentals101 states:

"It's really not worth trying to work around Miami Beach's rules. Follow the regulations to a T or pay the price."

Over on BiggerPockets, real estate investors strongly deter illegal short term rental operations within Miami Beach city limits:

"The city cracks down hard on unregistered listings. We advise our clients to follow the strict regulations if renting in Miami Beach."

User beachinvestor213 says:

"I own a condo there that I wanted to Airbnb. The HOA and city regulations were just too much of a hassle so I opted for a long term tenant instead."

The resounding advice on both communities is clear - Miami Beach does not mess around when it comes to enforcing their short term rental ordinance. Hosts who fail to adhere to the strict regulations end up paying major fines or shutting down entirely. The regulations ultimately deter many real estate investors from pursuing short term rentals in the popular beach destination.

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Hotel taxes and resort fees - Miami Beach Forum

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Hotel taxes and resort fees

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We are booked to stay for a month in December, and along with the price of the hotel, we are having to pay 14% taxes, plus a $9 a day resort fee.

Im wondering what these charges are for, and why are they charged separately. In the UK, a hotel will charge the cost of the room, which is either inclusive or exclusive of VAT (Value Added Tax), but we would not expect to be shown the price, and then have this tax added when you arrive. Also, what does the $9 a day resort fee cover.

It all seems a bit strange that these fees are dealt with differently from the room cost. And on our travels we have not come across this before.

Im not complaining about having to pay it, just think its a strange way of presenting the costs. Any answers would be informative and I thank you in advance.

miami beach tourist tax

alot more places seem to be charging resort fees or city taxes. I know alot of places in the US do it, also cities in europe are doing more often now.

Usually the resort fee's cover things like sun lounger rentals and towels at the pool, things like that. (at least thats what i was led to believe, someone may correct me)

Personally i would prefer it if they just bumped the overall room price up by an $9 a day, then at least you wouldnt see it.

miami beach tourist tax

Taxes are for funding the government.

Prices in the US tend to be shown without taxes because we don't have a uniform tax rate. So a TV for $399 plus tax will cost a different amount depending on where, precisely, you buy it.

It's just different in the US. Prices there are always quoted without the tax (this goes for restaurants and shops by the way, not just hotels) whereas in the UK the tax is always included. The tax rate varies from state to state and sometimes even within different parts of the same state, so it can only be added at the point of sale and you will just have to get used to mentally adding it on as you go. The good news is I've never seen a US state tax anything like as high as our 20%. For the most part they're less than 10%.

It tends to include things like use of the internet, loungers by the pool and in Miami can include loungers at the Beach.

The resort fee doesn't cover anything. It's just a way for them to jack up the price and not have to pay commission on it to travel agents. They will tell you it covers things you don't want but will not give you the option to not pay it if you don't want to use those things.

Just add it to the room price since you will have to pay it whether you use it or not.

The other is sales tax paid to the state or city or some government. You will have to pay that as well.

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.

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Miami Beach looks to insure tourism tax revenue

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Miami Beach’s tourism industry has suffered one blow after another in recent years.

First, Brazil’s economy tanked and a strong U.S. dollar prompted would-be international travelers to stay home. Then Zika scared off visitors. By the time Hurricane Irma hit last September, hotels and other tourism-dependent businesses were already reeling.

And it wasn’t just the tourism industry that suffered. Miami Beach’s tax revenue also took a hit.

Now, the city is considering a novel solution: an insurance policy for resort tax revenue to help make up for unexpected budget shortfalls.

Resort taxes, which include taxes levied on hotel stays and restaurant tabs, make up more than 10 percent of Miami Beach’s primary operating budget and contributed about $83 million to city coffers last fiscal year. The money can be used to help pay for tourism-related expenses, like construction on the Miami Beach Convention Center and maintenance at South Beach parks, for example.

“It’s a very large revenue source for us,” said John Woodruff, the city’s chief finance officer. “Resort taxes tend to be pretty variable depending on economic conditions. They can move around on you. “

While resort tax revenue usually grows by 3 to 5 percent a year, Woodruff said, the amount of money the city collected stayed almost flat between the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

That got city officials thinking. An emergency response committee convened last year with representatives from the tourism industry came up with recommendations. Among them: Take out an insurance policy for resort taxes. Miami Beach has asked an insurance broker to run the numbers on how much such a policy would cost. The request is more complicated than it might seem — the city would likely be the first in the country to insure its resort tax revenue.

“We’re obviously just in the exploratory phase, but it’s interesting and it may be something that provides a measure of confidence and continuity,” Mayor Dan Gelber said. “It’s not unlike the business interruption insurance that is available in the private sector for often the same events. We have a very unique economy so thinking about ways to protect it makes sense.”

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau declined to comment on the proposal until more information is available.

Although the details are still being worked out, the insurance policy would depend on certain triggers, said Sonia Bridges, the city’s division director for risk management and benefits. If winds reached a certain speed or water rose to a certain level during a hurricane, for example, or if Miami Beach saw an unexpected drop in resort tax revenue, the city would automatically get an insurance payout.

This type of insurance policy, known as parametric insurance, is still fairly new in the United States, Bridges said. Miami Beach already has more traditional types of insurance, like property insurance for publicly owned buildings, but has no insurance on its tax revenue.

“We’re making sure that as a city we’re resilient whether it’s mosquito-borne illnesses or unforeseen circumstances that could potentially hurt the economy,” said Commissioner Micky Steinberg, who served as the chair of the emergency response committee. “We’re looking at creative ways to protect revenue and the community at large.”

So far this year, things are looking up for Miami Beach’s tourism industry — and for the city’s bottom line. Resort tax revenue is on track to increase by 10 percent this fiscal year, Woodruff said. But with a busy hurricane season looming, an insurance policy could give city officials more certainty when they come up with a budget.

“It gives you stability and predictability that you would not normally have,” Woodruff said. “Even if something abnormal happened, you’d always get a certain amount of revenue.” And if the idea works for resort taxes, he added, it could also be applied to other volatile sources of revenue, like the money the city gets from parking.

Miami Herald staff writer Chabeli Herrera contributed to this report.

Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

miami beach tourist tax

miami beach tourist tax

​​​The Tourist Development Tax is sometimes referred to as resort tax, bed tax, local option tourist tax or transient rental tax. The Broward County Tourist Development Tax Rate is 6 percent.

The total rental charged every person who rents or leases any living quarters or accommodations such as a hotel/motel, apartment, rooming house, mobile home/RV park, condominiums, timeshare or single family home rented for a period of six months or less is subject to the tourist development tax. The tax shall be charged by the person receiving the consideration for the lease or rental and collected from the lessee, tenant or customer at the time of payment for the rental. The person collecting the consideration should receive, account for and remit the tax to the Broward County Tourist Development Tax Section. Rental records are subject to audit by Broward County Records, Taxes and Treasury Division.

Accommodations rented for longer than six months may be exempt, but must be supported by bona fide written long-term leases. Rentals longer than six months without bona fide written long-term leases are taxable for the first six months of continuous occupancy and become exempt beginning on the first day of the seventh month of occupancy. Taxpayers registering for Tourist Development Tax may be required to obtain a Broward County Local Business Tax Receipt. Click here for more information.

How To Pay Tourist Development Tax

A registration form must be completed and submitted to the Tourist Development Tax Section: Registration Form and Instructions . After registering, a filing frequency of monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually will be assigned.

Rental receipts and tax must be reported on the Tax Return Form . For guidance, please access Tax Return Instructions . Tax returns are due on the first of the month following the months of collection and are considered delinquent if not postmarked by the 20th of that month.

Payments can be submitted by mail or in person, and must be made in U.S. Funds and drawn on a U.S. Bank. After registration is complete, you can also pay taxes online .

Delinquent Tourist Development Taxes

There are penalties for delinquent Tourist Development Tax.

In accordance with Florida Statute 212.12, there is no collection allowance and a minimum penalty of $50 assessed for filing a late Tourist Development Tax return. A penalty of 10 percent of the total tax due is added if not more than 30 days late, and an additional 10 percent is added for each additional 30-day period, or fraction thereof, during which the failure continues. Total penalties will not exceed 50 percent of the total tax due for each period. Current rates can be found at www.myflorida.com/dor/tips/

In accordance with Florida Statute 125.0105, if your payment is returned by your bank, there is a fee of $25 for payments not exceeding $50, $30 for items exceeding $50 but not exceeding $300, and $40 or 5 percent of the face value (whichever is greater) for items that exceed $300.

Failure to pay the Tourist Development Tax is a violation of a Broward County Ordinance which is punishable by a fine in an amount not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 60 days.

As the Tax Collector, Broward County may place a tax warrant lien on the property, issue a tax execution to enforce the collection, and request a writ of garnishment to subject any indebtedness due to the delinquent taxpayer by a third person.

In accordance with Florida Statute 125.0104(8)(a), if the person collecting the consideration for the rental fails or refuses to charge and collect the tax from the person paying the rental or lease, that person is, in addition to being personally liable for the payment of the tax, guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year.

  • Registration Form and Instructions (PDF 89 KB)
  • Tax Return Instructions (PDF 64 KB)
  • Tax Return Form (PDF 165 KB)
  • Change of Address (PDF 16 KB)
  • Inactivation Form (PDF 27 KB)
  • Reactivation Form (PDF 27 KB)
  • Power of Attorney (PDF 50 KB)
  • Instructions for TouristExpress (PDF 72 KB)

Contact Information

Office Location: 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room A-110, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Mailing Address: Tourist Development Tax Section Broward County Tax Collector 115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room A-110 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone:954-357-8455 Fax:954-357-6524

Email: [email protected]

Tip Hotline

If you know of or suspect a person or business is evading the Tourist Development Tax, you can report a possible tax violation to our office and remain anonymous.

Please provide us with as much information as possible.

You can contact us by: Email: [email protected]

Phone: 954-357-8455

View Other Helpful Links and Resources

  • Florida Department of Revenue
  • Florida Department of Revenue - Revenue Law Library
  • Florida Department of State
  • Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation - Division of Hotels and Restaurants
  • Online Sunshine - Florida Legislature
  • Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations​
  • Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau

Email your question to us at [email protected]

Or, call the Broward County Call Center at 3-1-1 or 954-831-4000.​​

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A coastal flood statement in effect for Monroe Lower Keys and Monroe Middle Keys Regions

Hyundai air & sea show marks ‘amazing’ 1st day in south beach, beachside show to continue sunday.

Samiar Nefzi , Reporter

Andrea Torres , Digital Journalist

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach is hosting an action-packed two-day celebration of American patriotism ahead of Memorial Day , a time to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. military.

The Hyundai Air & Sea Show marks the barrier-island city’s eighth annual national salute with representatives of the U.S. military’s six branches, first responders, and allies.

Joelle Stetka, a tourist from Switzerland, was among the 200,000 people who witnessed the first day of the show and visited the public displays at the park.

“I think it’s really amazing to be so close to something that we hear a lot about,” Stetka said.

The maroon beret-wearing Red Devils from the British Army’s Parachute Regiment joined the show. Mickey Markoff, the show’s executive producer, told Local 10 News the schedule of events honors heroes.

“They are writing the blank check of sacrificing their life for our entire nation to protect our freedom,” Markoff said . “The whole idea is to say thanks.”

The choreographed beachside tribute was set to continue from noon to 6 p.m., on Sunday. There were events Saturday night that included a concert and a fireworks display.

Markoff also said the primary viewing area is along Ocean Drive — between 11 and 14 streets — at the heart of the Art Deco Historic District in South Beach.

Miami Beach police officers enforced temporary traffic and parking changes that limited drivers’ access to Ocean Drive, and Collins and Washington avenues.

It will be hot on Sunday. Sun protection and comfortable clothes and footwear are a must. There is an interactive area for kids, food vendors, and water access at Lummus Park , at 1130 Ocean Dr., which also has public restrooms. Admission is free. For more information from event organizers, visit this page .


Memorial Day in Miami Beach

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Copyright 2024 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.

About the Authors

Samiar nefzi.

Samiar Nefzi joined the Local 10 News team in August of 2023.

Andrea Torres

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.


Us army’s golden knights set to soar over south florida at air & sea show, police officers enforce traffic pattern changes during memorial day weekend in south beach.

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Not that people are content to accept that’s all part of a cycle we can’t control. As a recent article by TCPalm reporter Keith Burbank noted , Treasure Coast governments have spent well over $100 million during the last five years on beach-renourishment work along their shorelines.

A never-ending battle

Respectively, St. Lucie, Indian River and Martin counties spent $73.5 million, $28 million and $16.9 million during that time. Much of the money comes from state or federal grants, but some local funds are used, too. The costs are even greater here in South Florida. In 2016 alone, Broward County was home to a $55 million beach renourishment project.

All told, Florida has spent nearly $2 billion over more than 80 years dumping sand on beaches, only to see it washed away again.

Where does all that money go? Mostly into projects to transport sand from inland mines or the ocean floor to beaches that have experienced the heaviest losses.

It’s a little bit more complicated than it sounds. The sand used to buff up beaches must be similar to the kind it’s replacing. Also, there’s an ongoing need to monitor the shoreline, including reefs and sea turtle and bird nests.

It’s a never-ending battle ― maintenance, as one beach-renourishment proponent once called it, as essential as mowing your lawn.

Still, sand that’s placed on beaches today might be churning its way through the Gulf Stream toward Europe in a matter of days or weeks. Or it might shift only enough to create sandbars that imperil local navigation channels.

It’s fair to ask, why do our government officials keep doing this? This is a question that has been asked repeatedly over many years.

“I’d say it’s pretty much throwing money into the ocean,” Andy Brady, president of the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County, said in a TCPalm article from 2012. “It’s pretty much a Band-Aid. All the beach renourishments I’ve seen have lasted a while and, eventually, the sand washed away.”

Good money after bad

In a piece written less than two years ago, TCPalm columnist Laurence Reisman noted how Hurricane Nicole had essentially erased a lot of the work done on a $4.8 million Vero Beach renourishment project that was started in 2019.

Martin County’s Bathtub Beach, a popular spot for swimmers and snorkelers, is currently being restored at a projected cost of $7.1 million. That’s the same spot that had to be closed in 2020 for “repairs” due to erosion damage.

The county’s website notes Bathtub Beach gets this kind of work every three years in order to remain, well, a beach.

Is all of this spending up and down the coast really necessary? Tourism officials would tell you yes, absolutely it is, because beaches attract the visitors that keep the local economy humming. As noted in Burbank’s story, tourists ― many of them beachgoers ― reportedly spent $693.2 million in St. Lucie County during 2022 alone.

Tourism is important. However, it’s also an oversimplification to suggest all tourism spending would evaporate if our communities spent less on beach renourishment.

A national research paper mentioned in Burbank’s article says the federal government gets $230 in taxes for every dollar spent on renourishment projects. That sounds pretty impressive, but could that tax yield be even higher if beach-renourishment funds were spent more judiciously?

This isn’t to suggest local governments should halt all beach-renourishment work — back in late 2015, the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board wrote approvingly of that $55 million plan in Broward — but it would be sensible to start performing cost-benefit analyses on these projects.

Instead of taking it on faith that every project is necessary and beneficial, why not approach the process with a bit of skepticism about the wisdom of continually butting heads with Mother Nature?

This is an election year. Candidates for political office often run on platforms that include plans to cut “fraud, waste and mismanagement.”

Fraud and mismanagement are often tough to spot, and one person’s “waste” is another person’s critical government service.

Beach renourishment seems like a line item in local budgets that could indeed use closer scrutiny, though.

Kids love playing in the sand at our local beaches. Yet when adults do the same, it tends to get expensive.

This opinion piece was originally published by TCPalm/Treasure Coast Newspapers and distributed by The Invading Sea website ( theinvadingsea.com ). The site posts news and commentary on climate change and other environmental issues affecting Florida.

miami beach tourist tax

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World Economic Forum Names United States Best Country for Travel and Tourism in 2024

A shock to some or no surprise at all to others –the world’s 10 best countries for tourism is led by the United States,  according to the World Economic Forum . 

Europe leads with the most on the top 10. 

The survey is tourism-centric in that it focuses on the business of airlines, airports, hotels, attractions and less on experiences. 

The Best Travel and Tourism Countries in the World 

The World Economic Forum's best countries for travel and tourism are the following: 

1 - The United States – Deemed by the report to be a “mature” destination because of its existing infrastructure that includes everything from airline connections between cities to tour guides. New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Chicago, the list of amazing cities is seemingly endless in the United States. 

2 - Spain – The anchor of travel in Europe, which has six countries on the survey. The strength of the euro and the tendency to spend more tourism dollars are big factors. The report also says it has a “a resilient destination with strong intraregional travel flows.”

3 - Japan – The country has seen a tourist boom since the end of the pandemic and the lessening of restrictions on travel. “In 2024, global tourism growth is expected to be reinforced by the continued satisfaction of pent-up demand and growth in major Asian markets after travel restrictions have been lifted following a delay compared to other regions,” says the report.

4 - France – A pillar of European travel that is only likely to be enhanced by hosting the Olympics this summer.

5 - Australia – Aside from the spiders and other venomous critters, the country is very welcoming to visitors.

6 - Germany – Tradition and history. And beer. But it also has a handful of airports and a top-notch train system that make it easy to get around.

7 - The United Kingdom – There's a lot to love in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

8 - China – In the wake of the pandemic, China has made it much easier for tourists, especially Americans. For instance, visitors from the United States no longer need to produce a travel itinerary or proof of hotel bookings to get a travel visa.

9 - Italy – This is a thriving market and probably always will be, but it is battling the problem of tourism with over-tourism, as are many countries in Europe. In one example, Venice is now charging a tax on tourists .

10 - Switzerland – With all the other European countries on this list, it is sometimes easy to forget how beautiful Switzerland is.

Aerial view of South Beach, Miami, Florida.

Tourism board recommends $5 million Brevard grant to help fund Brightline station in Cocoa

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Brevard County's tourism board unanimously recommended a $5 million grant to help design and build the planned Brightline train station in north Cocoa ― a project that could cost $75 million. The grant proposal will go to the Brevard County Commission as early as May 7 for approval.

Funding for the proposed county grant would come from revenue generated by the county's 5% tourist development tax on hotel and motel rooms, vacation rentals and other short-term rentals.

The advisory Brevard County Tourist Development Council on Wednesday supported the grant, in an 8-0 vote, after hearing a presentation from Cocoa city officials about the project.

So far, the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization 's Governing Board has set aside a total of $15.5 million in federal grant money it is targeted to receive in the 2026-27 and 2027-28 budget years to help cover design and construction work for the proposed station.

In addition, the Cocoa City Council at a workshop in March unanimously voted to commit $5 million in city money for a Brightline station project in Cocoa, which helped trigger Brightline's commitment to have the train stop there.

Support for Cocoa station: Brightline gives green light to Cocoa stop for its Orlando-to-Miami passenger rail service

Cocoa City Manager Stockton Whitten said Brightline and Cocoa plan to leverage the $5 million commitment from Cocoa and the proposed $5 million commitment from Brevard County as matching funds, as they plan to apply next month for a federal grant of up to $50 million.

Whitten said, if the funding is lined up, construction could begin as early as the end of this year, and could take two years to complete.

The Cocoa station would be 7,500 to 9,000 square feet, and would be built on a part of a 90-acre-plus site, some of which is owned by Brightline and some of which is owned by Cocoa.

Brevard County Commission Chair Jason Steele ― who also chairs the Tourist Development Council ― told other TDC members that it is important to support the $5 million grant for the project.

"Brightline doesn't offer a station to everybody," Steele said, adding that "you're going to be kicking yourself right down the road" if Brightline's commitment to have a stop in Cocoa falls through because funding wasn't secured for the station, and a community in another county made a better financial offer.

Concerns from advisory board member

But TDC Vice Chair Tom Hermansen, a hotel owner, expressed qualms about being asked to support the $5 million allocation within minutes of getting Cocoa's presentation about the project. He also noted that the request came ahead of the typical annual cycle for seeking tourism capital grants. Hermansen also contended that Brightline has made no direct commitment to help pay for the station's construction.

Steele said the short notice was necessitated by the tight deadline to apply for the federal grant and the need to get County Commission approval before the application is submitted.

Cocoa officials said Brightline previously has invested more than $12 million for land within Cocoa, including in an area near the so-called "Cocoa curve" where the station is proposed.

The Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization previously identified that location near Clearlake Road/U.S. 1 and State Road 528 as the best site for a Brightline station. The site makes sense for Brightline. In addition to owning the land, the area is where Brightline trains must slow down, as they switch from a west-to-east configuration to a north-to-south configuration.

In the end, Hermansen joined the seven other TDC members in voting to support the grant, saying that having a Brightline stop in Cocoa would provide "a meaningful and tremendous economic impact, not just on Cocoa, but on Brevard County as a whole, over the long term."

Brightline currently operates 32 trains a day — 16 in each direction — from early morning to late evening on the roughly 3½-hour route between Orlando International Airport and Miami. But it has no stop in Brevard County.

Samantha Senger, Cocoa's director of communication and economic development, said the Cocoa station would have at least 20 full-time employees. She said having a Brightline stop in Cocoa would generate anywhere from 78,000 to 160,000 nights of accommodations rentals a year at local hotels or vacation rentals.

Assuming an average room rate of $200 a night, that would create $15.6 million to $32 million a year in revenue for the hotels and vacation rentals, plus $780,000 to $1.6 million a year in tourist tax revenue for the county.

Senger said it would be "a transformative project for the Space Coast."

Two options to get county grant

There are two ways for the $5 million Brevard tourism allocation for the Brightline station to be approved.

One would be as a capital facilities grant, which would require a "supermajority vote" of at least four of the five county commissioners.

The other would be by moving money from the Space Coast Office of Tourism capital facilities budget to the office's marketing budget, then approving the $5 million allocation as a tourism-marketing-related project. That approach would require support of a simple majority of three county commissioners.

Steele said he hoped to get unanimous support from the other county commissioners. But he recognized there may be obstacles to get the grant approved by what he described as "a very, very conservative County Commission."

Brightline's current operations

Brightline currently has stops at Orlando International Airport, and in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and Miami. Brightline carried 1.62 million passengers in 2023, and its goal is to have 4 million passengers in 2024.

Brightline announced in March that it also will have a stop in downtown Stuart, after selecting a proposal for a $60 million rail station project there. The station could open as soon as late-2026.

Brightline has plans to extend its route west from Orlando to Tampa in the future, and also could extend service north from Cocoa to Jacksonville.

Earlier this week, the affiliated entity Brightline West broke ground on the nation's first true high-speed rail system, which will connect Las Vegas to Southern California.

Dave Berman is business editor at  FLORIDA TODAY.  Contact Berman at  [email protected] , on X at  @bydaveberman  and on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/dave.berman.54

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6 Cheap Places To Travel in 2024 That Feel Like a Luxury Beach Vacation

Laura Beck

Commitment to Our Readers

GOBankingRates' editorial team is committed to bringing you unbiased reviews and information. We use data-driven methodologies to evaluate financial products and services - our reviews and ratings are not influenced by advertisers. You can read more about our editorial guidelines and our products and services review methodology .

20 Years Helping You Live Richer

Reviewed by Experts

Trusted by Millions of Readers

Summer travel is on all of our minds, and it’s quickly approaching. Most of us want to pack our bags and head straight to a warm beach to bask in the sun and read a good novel. With inflation on the rise and wallets tighter than ever, the simple pleasures of a beach vacation can feel out of reach for many Americans, but never fear.

GOBankingRates spoke to travel experts to find out where you can go to get all the beauty of Hawaii or Miami at a fraction of the price. Here are six cheap places to travel in 2024 that feel like a luxury beach vacation . 

Destin, Florida

When it comes to affordable beach vacations that feel luxurious, Destin in northwest Florida is a top contender. “With the summer season just around the corner, many people across the States are planning their well-deserved beach vacations,” said Mercedes Zach, a travel agent at ASAP Tickets . “While some prefer more luxurious and expensive holiday packages, most are looking for budget-friendly travel options that still provide a high-end experience.”

Zach recommended Destin as a perfect beach getaway with picture-perfect views. “It’s known for its Emerald Coast beaches, many golf courses and the Destin Harbor Boardwalk. Destin also has a white sandy coastline with crystal clear waters that make it perfect for a beach getaway, giving out Caribbean vibes without having to fly there,” Zach said. “Plus, there are plenty of great beach rentals to choose from for as little as $100 per night, located close to shopping and fine dining spots.”

Huntington Beach, California  

On the West Coast, Huntington Beach in California offers an excellent and affordable beach vacation. “Also known as the surf city of the U.S. with an easy-going vibe, Huntington Beach in California is an excellent holiday destination on the West Coast that’s more affordable and less crowded than nearby Santa Monica, San Diego or Los Angeles,” Zach said.

She highlighted the many activities available, saying, “It features a 10-mile stretch of uninterrupted sand and offers everything from surfing, biking, paddle boarding and kayaking to volleyball tournaments, skateboarding competitions, oceanfront dining and romantic sunsets by the bonfire.”

And this destination won’t break the bank. “With vacation rentals going for around $120 per night, Huntington Beach is a budget-friendly and fascinating travel destination to visit any time of the year,” Zach said.

Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts

For those seeking an international tropical escape, Zach suggested the Caribbean as an affordable option, particularly when choosing an all-inclusive resort. “Whether you’re looking for a romantic couple’s trip or some quality time away with the family, Caribbean resorts such as Iberostar Dominicana in Punta Cana, BlueBay Villas Doradas in Puerto Plata or Bahia Principe Grand El Portillo in Las Terrenas deliver great service, fun sports activities and breathtaking views for every taste for as little as $200 per night for two people,” she said.

“The price for all these amenities can drop even as low as $160 per couple per night in the least busy months and with some affordable dates in the shoulder seasons,” Zach added. “A tropical Caribbean vacation can, in fact, be a lot cheaper than you would expect if you aim for less expensive islands such as Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico or Curacao.”

Puerto Escondido, Mexico

If you’re looking for an affordable beach vacation with a warm climate and rich culture, Puerto Escondido in Mexico might be the perfect destination. It is “an amazing tropical destination for an affordable beach vacation with a warm climate and rich culture just a five- to eight-hour flight away from the U.S.,” Zach said.

She highlighted the many activities available in Puerto Escondido, saying, “The surf town of Puerto Escondido in the state of Oaxaca is famous for its untouched beaches, bohemian vibe and plenty of things to see and do around, especially if you are a water sports enthusiast. Puerto Escondido offers you everything from snorkeling, swimming among the marine life, seeing dolphins in their natural habitat, trying out sport fishing, releasing newborn turtles and taking surf lessons to exploring the nearby beaches, such as Huatulco and the Bay of Carrizalillo.”

Zach also recommended affordable accommodations in the area. “Located near the wide and long Zicatela Beach, a marvelously mellow beach-side neighborhood, Casa de Olas Boutique Hotel is one of the many affordably priced accommodations to choose from, which has free bikes, a fitness center, a garden and a shared lounge. 300 meters from Zicatela Beach and 4 kilometers from Commercial Walkway, this property provides a terrace and a bar, as well as evening entertainment and room service for as little as $85 per night for a double room,” she said.

Florida Keys

For a tropical island getaway closer to home, Caroline Teel, executive editor at SmarterTravel , recommended the Florida Keys. “Dreaming of a tropical island getaway? You don’t have to go far (or spend a lot) to find paradise — the Florida Keys feel like an exotic vacation, minus the passport requirements and big budgets,” she said.

Teel suggested a scenic road trip to reach the Keys. “Snag a cheap flight into Miami or Fort Lauderdale, and then take one of the most scenic roads in America down to the Florida Keys,” she said.

She also advised on where to stay based on your desired vibe. “Head all the way south to Key West for a party vibe or stop in one of the middle keys for a more romantic and relaxing vacation. Luxury boutique hotels abound here, and it’s easy to find an affordable option,” Teel said.

Florida’s Space Coast

Ever seen a rocket launch while on vacation? Well, get ready to experience the magic this summer. Peter Cranis, executive director at the Space Coast Office of Tourism , shared that Florida’s Space Coast — located about 45 minutes from Orlando — is filled with picturesque seaside sunrises and amazing food, plus you can witness rocket launches straight to space.

“Rocket launches occur year-round on the Space Coast, and this once-in-a-lifetime experience is completely free to view,” Cranis said.

If rocket launches aren’t your thing, there are plenty of beachy activities to keep you busy. “You don’t have to leave the country to experience glowing bioluminescent waters! Immerse yourself in nature’s magic and take a see-through kayak over bioluminescent lagoons and watch the water sparkle with luminescent organisms. It’s like underwater fireworks!” Cranis said.

The Space Coast is also known for sea turtles. “The Space Coast is home to some of the largest and most significant sea turtle nesting grounds in the U.S.,” Cranis added. “Visitors have the rare opportunity to witness these ancient creatures coming ashore to lay their eggs or watch hatchlings make their way to the sea.”

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  1. Miami Beach Resort Tax

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  3. Greater Miami & Miami Beach 2022 Visitor Industry Overview by Greater

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  1. File/Pay Resort Tax

    For customer service questions, please call our main line at 305.673.7420, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or email us at [email protected]. Any rental of rooms in any hotel, motel, rooming house or apartment house or restaurant that sells food, beverages, and alcoholic beverages are required to register and remit resort ...

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    Facility is not located in the incorporated cities of Miami Beach, Surfside or Bal Harbour; Facility is using the return to report sales from food and beverage sales as well; You must print a copy of your return and enclose it with your payment. Mail to: Miami-Dade County Tax Collector Convention and Tourist Tax Section 200 NW 2nd Ave. Miami ...

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    Miami-Dade Office of the Tax Collector Peter Cam, Tax Collector Convention & Tourist Tax Section 200 NW 2nd Avenue Miami, Florida 33128 T 305-375-5550 F 305-375-5594. TOURIST TAX ACCOUNT REGISTRATION FORM . Additional information for completing this application is on the reverse side. SECTION 1 - Owner Information

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    5) The county-wide tourist development tax rate for Miami-Dade County is 3% except within the municipal jurisdictions of Bal Harbour, Miami Beach, and Surfside, which are eligible to impose the Municipal Resort Tax. 6) The tourist development tax levies in Bay, Nassau, Okaloosa, and Walton counties are less than countywide. In Okaloosa County ...

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