Hotel and motel hospitality dollars continue to supplement the City of Santa Barbara’s tax base with Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) growth up 11.9 percent over last year. The total is more than $7.7 million for the first four months of the 2014-2015 fiscal cycle. This October — which had both an extra weekend compared to 2013 as well as more open hotel rooms, as many were undergoing renovations last year — saw TOT collections of $1.62 million, an impressive 25.8 percent more than 2013. September’s TOT was $1.61 million, 6.9 percent more than in the previous year. The city has projected growth of 4.9 percent in the TOT to reach its budget target of $17,641,400.
City voters raised the Transient Occupancy Tax to 12 percent from 10 percent in 2001’s Measure B. The additional 2 percent goes to the Creeks Restoration and Water Quality Improvement Program.