SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara collected $1,551,851 in Transient Occupancy Taxes for September, 20.5% below the taxes collected in September 2019.
City officials attribute the decrease in tax revenues to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related response, which “continues to affect the local travel industry,” Keith DeMartini, finance director for the city, said in a statement.
September is the third month of the city’s 2020-21 fiscal year, which runs through June 30, 2021. Through the first three months of the 2020-21 fiscal year, the city has collected more than $4.3 million. The city’s adopted TOT budget is $17,241,134.
Over the past three fiscal years, the city has averaged around $1.9 million in Transient Occupancy Tax revenues during the month of September. 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