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Local News

Santa Barbara’s Bed-Tax Revenues On the Rise

The first three months of 2010 break from a downward trend

For the third month in a row, Santa Barbara’s bed-tax revenues showed an increase in March from last year’s numbers.

Year-end transient occupancy tax estimates have gone up to $11,157,000, which reflects a decline of 7.3 percent for the entire fiscal year, according to the city’s Finance Department.

The first three months of 2010 finally broke the streak of declining transient occupancy tax revenue that started in September 2009.

February and March of last year had the greatest declines of Santa Barbara’s TOT revenues, of 20.7 percent and 24 percent, respectively. So, while March shows an increase of 8.3 percent over last year, it’s being compared with the largest decline ever recorded.

Another factor of the bed-tax revenues has been talk of a tourism business improvement district among some local lodging individuals.

Hoteliers would essentially tax themselves and put the communal pot toward marketing efforts.

San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach and Paso Robles already have TBIDS, and the Santa Ynez Valley’s proposal is making its way through various votes.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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