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Coronavirus Shutdowns Lead To Huge Drop In Hotel Tax In South Coast City

Newly released tax figures in one South Cost city illustrate how deeply the coronavirus crisis has cut into tourism and hotel occupancy.

The City of Santa Barbara’s transient occupancy tax went from $1.4 million dollars in March of 2019 to $576,000 in March of 2020.  That’s a drop of 60%. 

The decrease was even more dramatic in April, going from $1.6 million a year ago to just $116,000 this April.  That’s a 93% drop.

Santa Barbara’s transient occupancy tax numbers are a little better in May, but are still down nearly 80% from a year ago.  The tax is a nightly charge on a hotel room stay.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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