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Nelson proposes tax credit for businesses hurt by algae

Posted at 11:54 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 23:54:04-04


Businesses on Sanibel say they are struggling to stay open as tourists cancel vacation plans.
Dozens of them, from charter captains to hotel managers met with Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) to talk about economic relief for businesses hurt by the water crisis.
Nelson introduced legislation which would give tax credits to those businesses, but some say the gesture is too little too late.
“Most of the businesses in this room aren't going to make any money, therefore they aren't going to be able to take advantage of the tax credit,” said General Manager of the Island Inn on Sanibel, Chris Davison.
Davison says cancellations at his hotel are at an all time high, many customers are scared away by media reports about the brackish water.
“Every piece of paper here represents a canceled reservation,” Davison told Nelson.   “That's about 300,000 dollars of canceled reservations, and we're a 4 and a half million dollar company."
Nelson says it’s going to take a partnership between the state and federal government to speed up the process.
“If the laws of this state are not cracking the whip on that water being clean, we're going to continue to have this."
Many of the business owners say they're afraid to lay off their employees because they may not be able to hire them back when conditions improve.