SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara collected approximately $336,818 in Transient Occupancy Taxes for May, which is 80% below the taxes collected in May 2019.
The drastic decrease is being attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and related response, which has “severely affected the local travel industry,” said Jennifer Tomaszewski, interim finance director for the city.
Over the past three fiscal years, the city has averaged nearly $1.6 million in Transient Occupancy Tax revenues during the month of May. Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as bed tax, is charged to guests at short-term rentals such as hotels and motels.
Through the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, the city has collected $14,276,749 in TOT revenue. The adopted TOT budget is $19,989,179.
— Mitchell White