Equipment cleaning up sea life killed by red tide earlier this year

Image: Karen Arango

Tourist Development Tax collections were down by 12 percent this October when compared to October 2017, according to statistics published by Sarasota County Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates, a drop-off likely due to red tide. The Tourist Development Tax (also known as a “bed tax”) is a 5 percent charge on the revenue from rentals that last six months or less. The revenue is used to promote tourism, maintain beaches, support the arts and more. In October, Ford-Coates' office collected just over $1 million, down from more than $1.1 million in October 2017, and barely above the October 2016 number. The October decrease follows declines in August and September, as well.

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