March Hotel Tax Revenue Increases in 2021

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Source: City of Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara collected $1,262,304 in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) for March 2021. TOT revenues in March 2021 were 119% above March collections last year—which was the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related response. By way of comparison, compared to March 2019, March 2021 revenues were lower by 12%.

The local travel industry is beginning to see increases in demand for rooms relative to recent months that is likely to continue throughout the spring into the summer months as the State has lifted travel advisories and as access to vaccinations has become more available. However, TOT revenues have still not recovered to typical pre-pandemic levels, as there is still public concern with potential new strains of the virus, efficacy of the vaccines and the impacts to the economy.

The City has collected $9.6 million through the first nine 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 Apr 29, 2021 02:47 PM
March Hotel Tax Revenue Increases in 2021

It will be interesting to see how long it will take hotels to return to 2019 levels.
How much is business related? Business appear to be shifting to virtual meetings and maybe never go back to as many face to face meetings.

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