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Pandemic Continuing To Impact Tourism Dependent Tax Revenue On South Coast


There’s a fresh sign of how deeply the pandemic is cutting into the important tourism industry on the Central and South Coasts.  The City of Santa Barbara’s just released bed tax number for this August show they are down a third from the same period last year. 

The total collected dropped from nearly $2.4 million to $1.6 million dollars.  The number are especially significant because August is usually one of the city’s biggest months of the year for tourism. 

At the peak of the coronavirus shutdowns in April, the transient occupancy tax collected was down 93% from 2019.  City officials say the numbers are still down significantly, but they have improved steadily during the last five months.

The city deferred collection of the tax last spring to help struggling businesses.  The 12% nightly tax on motel and hotel room stays is an important source of revenue for the city.

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