July’s tourist dollars down 15.4 percent from last year

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — The latest figures released by Indian River County show the tourist tax for hotels and seasonal properties through this July has accounted for $196,928 less than the year before, a 15.4 percent drop from July 2008.

July is the third worst month to date for collecting tourist dollars, following behind February and March, which saw more than a 20 percent decrease from a year before.

The Tourist Tax Report from the county shows that in July $85,990.51 were collected in tax revenues from a portion of the county’s bed tax, assessed on hotel and motel stays. The tax collections for July are down nearly 9 percent from June, representing a decrease of almost $8,200. June saw a loss of $1,364 over the same month in 2008, the smallest decrease in collections this fiscal year. Fiscal years start Oct. 1 and run through to Sept. 30 the following year.

Numbers in November (2008) and December (2008) were the strongest for the county. Both saw an increase in tourist tax dollars over their 2007 counterparts — but only by 2.25 percent and 1.22 percent, respectively.

Tourist tax dollars account for 1 1/2 cents of the county’s 4-cent bed tax. The rest of the 4-cent tax gets split between beach restoration (1 1/2 cents) and Dodgertown bond financing (1 cent).

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