Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

Sales Tax Results for the City of Santa Barbara - Quarter Ended December 31, 2020 

The City of Santa Barbara received $5.6 million in sales tax revenue during the quarter ended December 31, 2020, which is 12.6% below the same quarter last year. This decline is largely a result of reduced economic activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related response, which has affected nearly all economic sectors in the economy. Santa Barbara being a tourist based economy, the general retail and restaurant sectors have been particularly affected.

As the second largest General Fund revenue, the sales tax budget for fiscal year 2021 is $22.2 million. Staff are projecting sales tax revenue to end the fiscal year at approximately $21.0 million, approximately 5% less than the budget. Sales tax results for the March quarter will be available in May 2021.

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

Transient Occupancy Tax Results for the City of Santa Barbara – Month Ended January 31, 2021

The City of Santa Barbara collected $348,987 in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) for January 2021. TOT revenues in January 2021 were 68% below January last year.  The COVID-19 pandemic and the related response has significantly affected the local travel industry.  Despite a steady recovery since April 2020, lodging operators have experienced a difficult travel environment, as the most recent surge and additional State advisories against leisure travel have further depressed demand for accommodations.  Staff expect this reduction in demand to continue at least until the spring months.

The City has collected $7.6 million through seven months of the City’s fiscal year, which runs from July 1 through June 30.  The City’s adopted TOT budget is $17.2 million.  TOT is projected to end the fiscal year at approximately $14.5 million, which is 16% below budget.

The Transient Occupancy Tax table can be viewed here.

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citizenSB Mar 05, 2021 01:29 PM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

I think the city government 'thinking' is restaurants and hotels bring in sales tax and occupancy tax revenue that they want. It is hard for them to think 2 levels deep; industrial business hire people, people eat in restaurants and have guest come to town that stay in hotels.

a-1614916994 Mar 04, 2021 08:03 PM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

The tourist golden goose isn't laying as many tax eggs this year. Seems like a diversified economy, much like Goleta's, would provide a more sustainable income stream, as well as a more economically diversified and healthy economy.

NotReallyDave Mar 06, 2021 07:24 PM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

So Voice, why does City employees allow industrial businesses into zones that are not allowed? For the taxation? There is a lot of corruption happening regarding zoning issues in this town.

NotReallyDave Mar 06, 2021 07:21 PM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

So Voice, why does City employees allow industrial businesses into zones that are not allowed? For the taxation? There is a lot of corruption happening regarding zoning issues in this town.

NotReallyDave Mar 06, 2021 07:21 PM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

So Voice, why does City employees allow industrial businesses into zones that are not allowed? For the taxation? There is a lot of corruption happening regarding zoning issues in this town.

a-1614976137 Mar 05, 2021 12:28 PM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

We are talking about light industrial -- think tanks, light assembly of computer parts, bicycle construction, maintenance, repair, etc etc. , not heavy industrial. These small businesses sustain and support the LOCAL community. This is in contrasts to tourists who drive hours to get here, spend money in the hotels and restaurants, use locally funded infrastructure (water, sewer, police, roads). The tourism industry also brings in many low wage jobs and the resultant social costs to the local economy , which do not accrue to the same extent in a middle class medium to high wage community.

a-1614970876 Mar 05, 2021 11:01 AM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

What we've seen is a shift in that area away from middle class industrial and artistic jobs to entry level service jobs. Yes, the city and SEIU might get more payrolls to prey upon but the middle class people who can pay to invigorate this city will continue to be forced out.

Voice of Reason Mar 05, 2021 08:50 AM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

I'm not sure I follow how 1)keeping it industrial would have benefited more people than rezoned as it's current use, and 2) how these projects only benefit the 1%. The current use provides more jobs, more tax revenue, and is patroned by more people that had it stayed industrial. It was a different environment decades ago but now, blocks from our beautiful coastline, in a dense (for Santa Barbara) urban area, it isn't the best place for industrial. As mush as we sometime wish they didn't, things change, times change, and we must change with them.

Mesarats Mar 05, 2021 07:41 AM
Drop in Sales and Occupancy Taxes

Santa Barbara rezoned the waterfront from light industrial and ocean dependent for inclusion of hospitality and tourism, housing for the wealthy, they sacrificed and displaced not only a thriving art community, but local small businesses providing skilled trades, automotive ,light manufacturing, repairs, fabrication, ocean dependent, and construction related. So many have been pushed out of the area.
Santa Barbara’s idea of a diverse economy is the funk zone where most of the restaurants are owned by the same corporation.

Industrial space vacancy is less than 1%, as a comparison Ventura is about 7%, Also the downtown is primarily local businesses.

They keep approving projects that benefit and cater to the 1%, even in the projected tidal water intrusion area, which would be better used for industrial space.

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