Year-over-year decline originally reported in June wiped out by updated reports
The negative number for Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections in June has disappeared, as Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley anticipated during an August interview with The Sarasota News Leader.
The latest figures from the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office show the amount for June was $18,383.80 higher than the June 2015 figure, for a total of $1,456,000.40. Still, the number was the third-lowest increase recorded for a month so far this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2015. April had a lower uptick year-over-year — $4,632.01 — as did May — $23,475.07.
In August, Virginia Haley of Visit Sarasota County told the News Leader she had learned from Tax Collector’s Office that a couple of figures from larger entities that collect the Tourist Development Tax had not made the reporting deadline for June. Therefore, she said, she expected the final figure to change.
In contrast to June, TDT revenue for July showed an increase of $134,037.84 compared to the July 2015 figure of $1,436,023.11. The total for July in the latest report from the Tax Collector’s Office was $1,570,060.95.
As Haley indicated and Tax Collector’s Office staff has explained to the News Leader, not all entities are able to provide their final figures by the deadline set each month for reports to the office. Therefore, the figures in the Aug. 31 document could rise as well.
Altogether, TDT revenue through the end of August was up $877,863.12 compared with collections at the same point of the 2015 fiscal year. With two months of figures still to be reported for FY16, the total stood at $18,198,971.17, the Tax Collector’s Office records show.
During the 2015 fiscal year — which ended on Sept. 30, 2015 — Sarasota County hit its all-time high for TDT revenue, ending up with $19,076,500.79.
As in recent months, Siesta Key businesses that collect the tax continued to lead the way, bringing in 32.62 percent of the total — $5,937,359.50 — through the end of August, the Tax Collector’s Office report shows. The city of Sarasota remained in second place — with 29.55 percent — for a total of $5,378,156.45.
The 2016 Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival, which was held from June 24 through July 4, always is a big draw for summer visitors to Sarasota County, Haley has said through the years. The economic impact report on this year’s festival — released by its sponsor, Suncoast Charities for Children — estimates the county took in $158,853.15 in Tourist Development Tax levied on the approximately 4,575 rooms rented by guests over the four nights of the event. The average room rate was $173.61, the Suncoast Charities report shows.
Based on the TDT estimate, Suncoast Charities showed a total of $531,809.58 in TDT and state sales tax revenue generated in the county by the 2016 festival.