Gulf of Mexico
Jason and Whitney Garbarz of Chicago enjoy a family meal Oct. 6 with their children, Joey, left, 10, Jaxson, 11, and Gunnar, 8, at the Ugly Grouper in Holmes Beach. The Garbarz, repeat island visitors, stayed in Anna Maria over the Columbus Day weekend. Islander Photo: Kane Kaiman

FL - County sets tourist tax record for 18th consecutive month

Tourists continued to shell out for Manatee County rentals in August.The county gleaned a record-setting $1,547,956 from its monthly “bed tax,” a 5% levy on overnight rentals of six months or less.

The figure represents a 6.9% increase from the August 2021 tourist development tax revenue and a 70.2% increase from the same month in 2019, a pre-pandemic year the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau uses as its benchmark.

For 18 consecutive months, earnings from the resort tax have exceeded those from the same month in the preceding year.

Heading into the final month of its fiscal year, the county had earned $27,061,309, $5,396,102 more than October-August of 2021 and $11,816,038 more than the same period in 2019.

Historically, unincorporated Manatee County and Holmes Beach have jockeyed for the top collection.

In August, unincorporated Manatee brought in $581,182 or 37.5% of the earnings pie, while Holmes Beach grossed $505,285 or 32.6%.

Anna Maria brought in $112,936 or 7.3% and Bradenton Beach earned $76,898 or 5%.

Bradenton gleaned $137,188 or 8.9%, Longboat Key grossed $132,302 or 8.5% and Palmetto held down the reporting at $3,347 or 0.2%.

The Manatee County Tourist Development council advises the county commission on resort tax spending.

Per state law, earnings must be used to drive tourism-bolstering initiatives and have funded beach renourishment projects on the island, as well as the construction of the new Anna Maria City Pier.

The Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Bradenton Area Convention Center; Realize Bradenton, a nonprofit dedicated to developing downtown Bradenton, and the Pittsburgh Pirates also receive bed tax dollars.

September resort tax data will be released in early November.

Members of the TDC include County Commissioner Misty Servia, chair, along with Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant, Bradenton Mayor Gene Brown, Ed Chiles, Eric Cairns, Jiten Patel, Rahul Patel, Dave Wick and Norma Kennedy.

The next TDC meeting will be at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, at the Manatee County Administrative Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Know your TDCs

In addition to making revenue spending recommendations, the Manatee County TDC — a nine-member group comprising elected officials, hospitality property owners and citizens involved in the tourism industry — advises the county board on tourist development projects.

Members of the TDC include County Commissioner Misty Servia, chair, along with Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant, Bradenton Mayor Gene Brown, Ed Chiles, Eric Cairns, Jiten Patel, Rahul Patel, Dave Wick and Norma Kennedy.

August tourist tax collections:

August 2018: $792,685

August 2019: $909,639

August 2020: $1,185,575

August 2021: $1,448,333

August 2022: $1,547,956

Source: Manatee County Tax Collector

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