Overview of the Cultural Umbrella

Definitions of Allowable Expenditures

Cultural Umbrella Budget 2008 - 09

Cultural Umbrella Allocations 2008-09 (pdf document)



Overview of Cultural Umbrella

In the 1980s, the citizens of Monroe County passed referendums authorizing a 3-cent sales tax on tourist lodging (the bed tax) to be used for tourist advertising, promotion, and some tourist related capital projects.

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) passed several ordinances to implement this tax including one that created the Tourist Development Council (TDC) to recommend expenditures of the bed tax revenue and to administer the expenditures. (County Clerk Danny Kolhage is actual custodian of the funds. He writes and signs all checks which are co-signed by the County Mayor.) The TDC is an advisory committee to the BOCC which has final approval of all TDC actions. The nine members of the TDC advisory board are appointed by the BOCC.

To accommodate the different geographic communities of the Keys, five District Advisory Committees (DACs) were created. They are DAC I-Key West; DAC 2-The Lower Keys: DAC 3-Marathon; DAC 4-Islamorada; and DAC 5-Key Largo. The DACs recommend expenditures for approximately one-third of the revenue which is divided among the districts according to the percentage of revenue collected in the district.

To accommodate three keys-wide industries, three "umbrellas" were created: the Dive Umbrella, the Fishing Umbrella, and the Cultural Umbrella. DACs and Umbrellas are unique to Monroe County.

The District Advisory Committees and the Umbrellas are advisory committees to the TDC and BOCC. Almost always the TDC and the BOCC approve the recommendations sent to them.

The Florida Statute allows bed tax funds expenditures for administration, advertising, promotion, and some tourist related capital projects and maintenance. The statute has been interpreted more narrowly in Monroe County than in other Florida counties.

The money allocated to the Umbrellas and DACs is distributed by an application process. Successful applicants are reimbursed for approved expenditures. The applications are rated by a point system based on the goals of the TDC. Factors included are Heads in Beds in Off-Season, Enhancement of Visitor Experience, Amount of Local Support and Showcasing of the Destination.

The DACs and Umbrellas each have Recommendation Committees that review the applications and recommend which are funded.

Originally the county contracted with the Key West Art and Historical Society to administer the Cultural Umbrella Funds. For the past few years, the Florida Keys Federation of Chambers had the contract to administer these funds.

In the meantime the Florida Keys Council of the Arts was created and flourished. It became recognized as the appropriate organization to administer the cultural umbrella and requested the job. In August the BOCC, by Resolution, turned it over to the FKCA as of 1/1/02.

Written by Shirley Freeman, Chairman of the FKCA Committee on the Cultural Umbrella, September 2001

2008-09 Cultural Umbrella Budget

Cultural Umbrella Total:


Cultural Generic Advertising Campaign (30%):


Event funding:


















Definitions of Allowable Expenditures
BOCC 9/20/06

Cultural Events:
Definitions and procedures for cultural events can be found in the Monroe County TDC Operations Manual in Section IV, page 70.

Media Placement & Production Costs:
newspaper; magazines, radio; TV; website/internet advertising only (

Promotional Signs:
posters and banners

Promotional Items:
T-shirts; hats; jackets; koozie cups. Refer to Sales/Resale statement in Section II, Page 15.

Direct Mail Promotions:
brochures and pamphlets including postage/shipping.
This is a direct mail promotional brochure/pamphlet utilized for pre-event advertising.

TDC will pay for an event program of listed or schedule of activities and information on the event,
an amount not to exceed 50% of cost, including production and printing, of program as outlined in contract budget.

Public Relations:
Public relations expenses that are approved by public relations agency of record.

The TDC will pay for Internet advertising on web sites (banners, buttons, website links), and E-mail blasts.
Internet advertising links may go to the event website. Logo is required on banners and E-blasts.
No payment will be made for development or operation (hosting) of website. BOCC 5/16/06

Items funded, including creative and resulting work product, by the BOCC/TDC, in accordance with Florida Public Records Law, are owned by the BOCC/TDC and as such may not be sold. 09/14/94