Santa Barbara’s tourist economy shows definite signs of improvement as the amount City Hall collected in hotel bed taxes increased by 11.5 percent—$1.2 million—over last June, and just edged collections for June 2008, the year the recession really hit. Year to date, the transient-occupant tax, as it’s known, has increased by 8.7 percent, roughly $170,000 more than city bean counters projected.


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