Santa Barbara's City Taxes Hit by COVID-19

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Sales Tax Results for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2020

The City of Santa Barbara received $3.79 million in sales tax revenues during the quarter ended March 31, 2020, which is 28% below the same quarter last year. This is largely because of the reduced economic activity in the final weeks of the quarter, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related response.

In addition, the State of California provided relief to many small businesses by extending the deadline to file sales tax returns from April until July, and allowing some small businesses to spread those payments over the ensuing 12 months.     

As the second largest General Fund revenue, the sales tax budget for fiscal year is $23,773,382. Sales tax results for the June quarter will be available in August.

For additional information on recent sales tax results, click here.

Transient Occupancy Tax Results for the City of Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara collected approximately $0.55 million and $0.11 million in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) for March and April 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic and related response has severely affected the travel industry worldwide, and hotels in Santa Barbara were no exception, seeing drastically reduced revenues as a result. TOT revenues in March and April 2020 were 62% and 93% below March and April last year. 

The City has collected approximately $13.9 million in TOT revenues through the first ten months of this fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30.  The City’s adopted TOT budget is $19,989,179.

The Transient Occupancy Tax table can be viewed here.

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a-1590600016 May 27, 2020 10:20 AM
Santa Barbara's City Taxes Hit by COVID-19

Depending on tourism to float your City is a devil's bargain. Locals put up with crowds, pollution (increased car and airplane traffic), infrastructure demands (water, police, sanitary systems) for the transient addition to City coffers. Who wins? Hotels, restaurants and tourism industry related commercialism such as 3 days a week cruise ships. Who loses? Everyone else, particularly when the plug is pulled on tourism, which has happened rather frequently lately. Recommendation: take back the funk zone for light industrial and manufacturing again instead of wine tourism and hotels. Rethink zoning away from tourism back to buildings that house workers with real jobs that pay well, think tanks, software manufacturers, digital development companies and probably a lot we don't know about yet, that are being created in clean industry.

SantaBarbaraObserver May 26, 2020 06:27 PM
Santa Barbara's City Taxes Hit by COVID-19

What's missing from this tiny blurb are the deficit figures. The city hasnt stopped spending, they're still right at about pre Covid levels. They have yet to cut FT staff. They are running deep in the red. So when can we expect the city start to address the necessary budget and staff cuts?

PitMix May 28, 2020 09:42 AM
Santa Barbara's City Taxes Hit by COVID-19

Indy has story on layoff of 400 hrly workers. That seems like a dose of fiscal reality. As far as the union raises, everyone on that council knows they can't get re-elected without the support of the public unions. The unfortunate reality is that when further cuts are necessary, some people will get laid off, usually according to seniority based on the union contracts, but the people left behind will get slightly higher salaries thanks to the raises. I wonder how the remaining staff will feel about that?

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