The city of Santa Barbara received $6.4 million in sales tax revenue during the quarter that ended March 31, 2022, which is 18% above the same quarter last year, officials said.
This increase is largely due to improved economic activity since last year, when the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to gain steam. Other contributing factors are the effects of inflation and continued growth in online sales.
The quarter reflects sustained economic activity that was not significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The March quarter is the third quarter of the city’s fiscal year, and the sales tax revenue budget for the fiscal year is $23.2 million.
The city of Santa Barbara collected $3.2 million in transient occupancy taxes for June. That was about $307,000 above June collections last year, a period impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and travel advisories. Compared to the pre-pandemic levels of June 2019, revenues were higher by 40%. However, this is largely due to increased average daily rates, which are 44% higher than June 2019.
The local travel industry’s steady improvement in demand for rooms has continued into the summer season as more COVID-related restrictions have been lifted, according to the city of Santa Barbara.
As of June, occupancy levels have continued to stabilize around pre-pandemic levels.
The city has collected $31.7 million through June, the 12th and last month in the city’s fiscal year. The city’s adopted TOT budget for all funds is $23.4 million, of which $19.5 million is budgeted in the General Fund.