St. George Islanders mull incorporation

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM.

As a municipality, the island could also impose utility taxes on providers of electricity and water and communication taxes on providers of phone service, internet or cable television.

Colston said the municipality could also generate income through a sales or business tax. He said tourists would pay for the majority of such an increase. Colston said there are currently 830 rental properties on the island. He said the new municipality could not impose a bed tax without a special exception from the state.

He said the island meets a number of the criteria that legislators will consider in weighing the request for incorporation. It is a “compact and contiguous area,” and is two miles from an existing city.

However, it falls short of the required population size, 1,500. The island currently has 826 registered voters. The island also falls short of the mandated population density of 1.5 residents per acre.

Colston said the legislature has waived these guidelines for other municipalities.

While this is not the first time incorporation for the island has been discussed, attendees at the meeting said the current incorporation committee has done more research into the matter than previous proponents of incorporation.

Some attendees did raise objections to the scheme. One woman said she lived in Destin when it incorporated.

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