SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara collected $1,200,700 in Transient Occupancy Taxes for July, nearly 50% below the taxes collected in July 2019.
City officials attribute the decrease in tax revenues to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related response, which has “severely affected the local travel industry,” Jennifer Tomaszewski, interim finance director for the city, said in a statement.
July is the first month of the city’s 2020-21 fiscal year, which runs through June 30, 2021. The city’s adopted TOT budget is $17,241,134.
Over the past three fiscal years, the city has averaged around $2.3 million in Transient Occupancy Tax revenues during the month of July. Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as bed tax, is charged to guests at short-term rentals such as hotels and motels.
In fiscal year 2019-20, the city collected $15.1 million in Transient Occupancy Taxes, nearly $5 million less than the anticipated budgeted amount.
— Mitchell White