Bed tax collections could reach $60 million this year – a record high

As of August, more than $56.5 million in bed tax, aka tourist development tax, had been collected.

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CLEARWATER – Visit St. Pete-Clearwater President and CEO David Downing announced some exciting news during the Oct. 17 Tourist Development Council meeting.

Bed tax collections are on track to hit $60 million this year – a record high. If that happens, it would make Pinellas’ tourism a billion dollar industry.

As of August, more than $56.5 million in bed tax, aka tourist development tax, had been collected – a 9.57 percent increase over last year. Only one more month of collections remain this fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1-Sept. 30.

Last year, just over $3.2 million in bed taxes were collected in September. If the same amount comes in this year, the total would be shy of $60 million by about $275,000.

No data is yet available for September, a month when red tide caused problems out on local beaches. The number of rooms sold by local hoteliers increased by 3.6 percent in August, Downing reported, and the average daily rate was up 2.9 percent. Revenue per available room was up 6 percent.

Year-to-date, rooms sold is up 3.6 percent, average daily rate increased 3.2 percent and revenue per available room is up 3.4 percent. The county’s average daily rate for rooms is No. 4 in the state, Downing said.

One of the biggest draws to Pinellas is its 35 miles of white sand beaches. John Bishop, the county’s Coastal Management coordinator, provided council members with an update on beach nourishment.

He said 21.4 miles of the county’s beaches are considered critically eroded, and 12 miles of those beaches are nourished on a regular basis. Twelve coastal municipalities have 11 ongoing beach projects. Read full article.