SANTA BARBARA — The city of Santa Barbara recently released revenues collected via sales and bed taxes, with both totals falling short from the same time periods a year ago.
The city received $5.9 million in sales tax revenue during the quarter that ended on Sept. 30, which is 7% below the same quarter last year. City officials contribute the decline to the “reduced economic activity” due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related response, according to Keith DeMartini, finance director for the city.
Sales tax is the second largest revenue in the city’s general fund. The sales tax budget for fiscal year 2021 is $22.2 million, and staff are currently projecting sales tax revenue to be around $20.5 million by the end of the fiscal year, approximately 7% less than the budget.
Sales tax results for the December quarter will be available in February 2020, Mr. DeMartini said.
The city collected $1.5 million in transient occupancy taxes for October 2020, 17.5% below October of last year. City officials note that TOT revenues have been steadily increasing since April, with the city having collected $5.8 million through the first four months of the fiscal year.
The city’s adopted TOT budget is $17.2 million, and city staff is projecting TOT revenue to be around $16.7 million by the end of the fiscal year, around 3% below than the budgeted amount.
Transient Occupancy Tax, also known as bed tax, is charged to guests at short-term rentals such as hotels and motels.
— Mitchell White