July 21, 2024
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Vital Signs: Santa Barbara gearing up for more economic recovery in 2023


Santa Barbara is hoping to see more “solid post-pandemic economic activity” in the new fiscal year, as the city announced it received $7.5 million in sales tax revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

September is the first quarter of the city’s fiscal year and the $7.5 million represents a 3.9% rise from the same quarter a year ago.

The city expects sales tax revenue to reach $26.6 million in 2023, an average of $6.65 million per quarter. Its solid first quarter number puts the city 8.4% above budget to start the year.

Santa Barbara also collected $2.2 million in transient occupancy taxes for the month of Nov., the 12% tax charged for each stay in a hotel or short-room lodging.

That is in line with what the city collected last year, highlighting that post-pandemic activity is continuing.

TOT revenues in Nov. were about 12.1% above the monthly budget, mainly due to higher average daily rates and strong seasonal demand for rooms, the city said in a press release.

Santa Barbara has collected $15.8 million through Nov., the fifth month in the city’s fiscal year.

The city’s adopted TOT budget for all funds is $28.3 million, of which $23.6 million is budgeted in the General Fund.