It Was an Unprecedented Year for Sarasota County Bed Tax Revenue

The 2021 fiscal year saw more than $30 million collected from short-term vacation rentals.

By Kim Doleatto November 12, 2021

For the first time, Sarasota County’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT)—also known as "bed tax"—revenue has topped $30 million in a fiscal year.

The 2021 TDT numbers for those months, Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021, show the total revenue collected by Sarasota County was $30,956,783.90. That's almost $10 million more than in fiscal year 2020—and a 32.4 percent jump from 2019's revenue of $23,380,566.92.

The TDT is a 5 percent charge on the revenue from rentals that last six months or less. The revenue is used to promote area tourism, maintain beaches, support the arts and more.

The most TDT revenue was collected was March, which saw more than $4 million. April and February trailed closely behind at more than $3 million each. The quietest month was October, which took in roughly $1.2 million.

Unruffled by red tide and a spike in summer Covid hospitalizations, the biggest gains over 2019 were seen in June and July of this year, indicating that previously sleepy summers may be a thing of the past. June 2019 saw $1,832,293.39 in TDT compared to $3,232,382.69 this year, a roughly 76 percent increase. TDT in July increased by almost 90 percent over 2019, from $1,753,072.31 to $3,321,663.69 this year.

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