Tourist tax revenues hit record levels in 2020

Editor & Publisher

The economic fate of our sun-kissed shores rises and falls with tourism. The good news, according to both Manatee and Sarasota County Tax Collectors, is that the January 2020 numbers showed a marked increase over the previous year. 

In Sarasota County, the Tourist Development Tax, or ‘Bed Tax,’ set a new record for January bringing in a total of $3,059,972 into the county tax coffers. That amount was more than 15 percent higher than January 2019 – an increase of $440,397.

According to Visit Sarasota County, which promotes the region using a portion of the tax dollars, more than 119,000 visitors came to Sarasota in January.

The monies collected is used for specific projects to support tourism and is broken down as follows in Sarasota County: beach maintenance 24%; beach renourishment 10%; Aquatic Nature Center 10%; sports stadium 16%-21%; promotion 25%-30%; and arts 10%.

As an indicator of the busy January tourism season, the occupancy rate for hotels also set a record at 78.6%, an increase of 8.1% over January 2019. The average daily room rate for January 2020 was $187.51.

Manatee numbers

Manatee County also saw a sizeable increase in tourist taxes taking in a total of $1,735,750 in January 2020. That amount is an increase of $277,188 over January 2019. The Tourism Tax rate in Manatee County is 5 percent, the same as Sarasota.

Holmes Beach brought in more than 21% of January’s tax dollars. Anna Maria brought in 12.4%, Bradenton Beach brought in 6% and Longboat Key collected 10% of the Manatee County total. Longboat Key and all of the island communities, exceeded the City of Bradenton, which brought in only 8.65% of tourist taxes collected in January 2020.

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1 Response for “Tourist tax revenues hit record levels in 2020”

  1. Alana says:

    Shut down LBK hotels now. Stop the covid 19. Worry about tourist income and money later. Save your local people and do what’s right.

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