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Ruth Eckerd Hall

Bill would qualify Ruth Eckerd Hall for tourism tax dollars

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Legislation filed in the Florida Senate would allow Ruth Eckert Hall and similar auditoriums to benefit from taxes raised to promote tourism. SB 68 by Sen. Denise Grimsley would clarify that tourist development tax dollars may flow to facilities, like Clearwater’s Eckerd Hall, that are publicly owned but managed by nonprofit organizations. Existing law allows tourism tax money to be spent only on convention centers, sports stadiums or arenas, or coliseums that are publicly owned and operated. “This measure offers…

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Tampa Bay area arts, cultural institutions fared well in Legislature’s budget

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Several of Tampa Bay’s most prominent fine arts institutions found success in the Legislature’s budget for 2016-17, navigating the delicate appropriations process and escaping Gov. Rick Scott‘s veto pen. Lawmakers approved $2 million for Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, frequently home to performances by The Florida Orchestra and national touring acts. Katie Pedretty, Director of Public Relations, said the money will go toward renovating the 33-year-old building that has become as much a public space as a private entity. “The lobby will be expanded by more than 6,000 square feet to include…

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