Paul Wellman (file)
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Sales and bed taxes have been dropping steadily for the City of Santa Barbara this past year. Sales tax, returned for the previous quarter by the state, closed out the fiscal year this June with $21.4 million for the city, a decrease of 0.4 percent over the previous year and almost $1 million less than expected. The transient occupancy tax, or bed tax, did modestly well last fiscal year, ending with $19 million in the coffers, or 2.6 percent more than expected. That's better than the previous year, 2016, which was stagnant compared to 2015's 10 percent growth over 2014. So far, for fiscal 2018, bed taxes are 3.8 percent short of goals. Though vacation rental fees have dropped 75 percent, the city states they comprise an insignificant portion of the TOT compared to hotels.