The city of Santa Barbara collected about $19.5 million in transient occupancy taxes from July 2018 to last month.
The amount is 3.9 percent more than TOT revenue collected from July 2017 to June 2018, but it is less than the projected TOT budget of $19.6 million.
The fiscal year’s last quarter (April to June) generated more TOT revenue than the previous three years’ last quarters. June 2019 was especially noteworthy, generating $1.91 million while the previous three years had an average of $1.78 million for the same month.
In the past 12 months, August 2018 generated the most revenue, but that tends to be the case for August during the upswing of tourism season. Meanwhile, January 2019 generated the least revenue.
The TOT, which is also known as the bed tax, targets guests staying in any hotel, inn, motel or other commercial lodging places for purposes of lodging or sleeping for less than 31 days. The taxes are collected by the commercial lodging operator for the city and are forwarded to the city on a monthly basis.
The TOT rate is 12 percent: 10 percent is unrestricted revenue, and 2 percent is restricted to Creeks Restoration and Water Quality Improvement.
The past 12 months saw the biggest fiscal-year-to-fiscal-year increase in the past three fiscal years. The 2017 fiscal year (which spanned from July 2016 to June 2017) saw an increase of 2.6 percent, but the 2018 fiscal year saw a decrease of 1.4 percent.