Pixel Tracker

Monday, March 18 , 2019, 6:02 pm | Fair 65º


Santa Barbara Sales, Bed Taxes Up Significantly This Year

Sales tax increases 10.8 percent over last year's first quarter, and the transient occupancy tax rises 6.9 percent compared with May 2011

Santa Barbara sales and transient occupancy taxes have posted significant gains so far this year, but they still haven’t reached pre-recession levels, according to data released Monday.

The city received $4.38 million in sales tax during the first quarter, a 10.8 percent increase compared with the same quarter last year.

Sales tax is the city’s second-largest General Fund revenue, and it collected more than $14.1 million this year with 9.6 percent growth year-to-date. Sales tax is expected to end the year at around $19 million, which is still less than 2006.

Transient occupancy tax increased 6.9 percent in May compared with last year, as the city generated $1.17 million. So far this year, the city grossed $12.25 million in TOT, which is 9.4 percent more than the same period last year. The city expects $13.6 million in TOT by the end of the year.

The Goleta, Solvang and Carpinteria city councils voted to place a proposed TOT increase from 10 to 12 percent on the November ballot. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will make a similar vote Tuesday to match Santa Barbara’s 12 percent TOT.

The cities of Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara also formed the South Coast Tourism Business Improvement District, or TBID, at the beginning of last year. The regional body placed a small fee on rented rooms that went to the Santa Barbara Convention & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission to market the area. The TBID began its marketing efforts in July, and so far it has raised $1.48 million.

Kathy Janega-Dykes of the SBCVB & FC said it has allowed Santa Barbara to target more international and domestic customers and increase its exposure.

“We’re a community with increasing confidence, and a lot of it is due to the recovery we’re seeing in the tourism industry,” she said at the annual tourism luncheon. “Statistics show increases in TOT, impressive increases in RevPAR and hotel occupancy. Hotel experts are signaling there is a marketing opportunity for destinations and other travel suppliers to be proactive and reach out to travelers.”

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkBiz, @noozhawk and @NoozhawkNews. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Patricia Griffin
Patricia Griffin
"I am very hands on and feel that each transaction is special and different. My clients goals are foremost in what I do to bring about a successful transaction and I maintain relationships for many years."

Full Profile >