Collier commission OKs sports park, tourist tax hike

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NAPLES, Fla. An amateur sports park and a 1 percent tourist tax that will pay for it received unanimous approval Tuesday from the Collier County Commission.

More than two dozen taxpayers, sports enthusiasts and hotel managers showed up to the meeting and spoke largely in support of the $60 million project, which is planned for a site known as City Gate near Interstate 75 and Collier Boulevard.

The county’s tourist tax will rise from 4 percent, one of the lowest rates in Florida, to 5 percent. That puts Collier County’s rate on par with the tourist tax rates in Lee and Charlotte counties.

Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce CEO Michael Dalby expressed support for the sports park but urged the county to consider alternatives to the City Gate site.

The commission nonetheless decided Tuesday to move ahead with City Gate, which once was considered as a potential site for Atlanta Braves spring training.

The sports park project is aimed at attracting tourism during off months for the county’s beaches.

It will be developed in phases so the county can monitor costs. Groundbreaking is likely a couple of years away.

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