Equipment cleaning up sea life killed by red tide

Image: Karen Arango

Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax collections increased by 6.4 percent between fiscal years 2017 and 2018, despite significant drop-offs in August and September, largely due to red tide. Collections increased every month of the most recent fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, but declined by 19.8 percent in August and by 32.2 percent in September. 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.

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