SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara collected $1 million in transient occupancy taxes for November 2022, 21.8% below the taxes collected in November 2019.
City officials attribute the decrease in tax revenues to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related response, which “has affected the local travel industry,” Jennifer Tomaszewski, finance and treasury manager for the city, said in a news release.
“Despite a steady recovery since April 2020, lodging operators have experienced a difficult travel environment, as the most recent surge and State advisories against leisure travel have further depressed demand for accommodations,” Ms. Tomaszewski said. “Staff expect this reduction in demand to continue at least until the spring months.”
The city has collected $6.8 million through five months of the city’s fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. The city’s adopted TOT budget is $17.2 million.
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