Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 4:45 am | Overcast 67º

 
 
 
 

Local News

City of Santa Barbara Lost About $1.5 Million in Sales, Bed Taxes from Thomas Fire, Debris Flows

Coast Village Road businesses reported losses of about $15 million in sales during December and January

Bob Ludwick, president of the Coast Village Association, told the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday that businesses lost 70 percent of their sales, or about $10 million in December, and another $5 million in January. Click to view larger
Bob Ludwick, president of the Coast Village Association, told the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday that businesses lost 70 percent of their sales, or about $10 million in December, and another $5 million in January. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The city of Santa Barbara spent as much $2 million in emergency response costs over the Thomas Fire and another $7 million on the debris flow and mudslides that hit the southern end of Coast Village Road.

Nina Johnson, assistant to the city administrator, gave a report to the City Council on Tuesday, outlining the impacts from December’s Thomas Fire and January’s Montecito mudslides. Several other representatives from business organizations also spoke at the meeting.

The city is eligible to recover up to 94 percent of its costs to respond to the disasters through the Federal Emergency Management Association and and the California Office of Emergency Services.

Other losses won’t be reimbursed.

The city saw a combined loss of sales and hotel bed taxes of about $1.5 million. Recreation classes and facility rentals were down about $15,000.

The city estimates a loss of between $100,000 and $200,000 in rents and parking revenues to its Waterfront fund and another $300,000 in lost revenue to the Downtown Parking Fund.

“This has been one of the greatest impacts to the city of Santa Barbara,” said City Administrator Paul Casey. “Business have really been hurt. It’s unprecedented on the South Coast.”

The heavy smoke and ash in the air also brought golf to a halt; the city said it lost an estimated $50,000 in green fees at its city golf course.

The city is also taking steps to help businesses.

It plans to issue a refund totalling $22,000 to 43 businesses who leased the public sidewalk for outdoor dining space in December and January. The city is also allowing hotels to defer payment of their bed taxes for 60 days without penalty to help hotel and lodging establishments with cash-flow needs

So far, eight businesses have used the program, totalling $79,280.

Bob Ludwick, president of the Coast Village Association, said Coast Village Road and the surrounding community was devastated financially.

“We were crushed and had almost no holiday traffic,” Ludwick said.

He said businesses lost 70 percent of their sales, or about $10 million in December. In January, he said, another $5 million in sales were lost.

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

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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 >