The City of Santa Barbara is reporting a shortcoming in the expected tax revenue generated by the local travel industry which is being attributed to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement from the city, Santa Barbara collected $385,130 in transient occupancy taxes for December 2020. That is 65% less than the revenue generated in December 2019.
Recent surges in coronavirus cases combined with State restrictions have weakened demands for travel accomodations, posing a major hurdle for businesses providing lodging. The drop in demand is expected to continue until spring. They hope to see a rise in hotel occupancy going into the summer.
The City says it has collected $7.2 million through the first six months of the fiscal year which runes from July 1 through June 30. Santa Barbara's adopted transient occupancy tax budget is $17.2 million.