County sets new bed tax record | Business Observer

FORT MYERS – Lee County set a record tourism revenue in 2021, collecting more than $ 53.3 million in bed taxes for the fiscal year.

The grand total surpassed the previous record of $ 42.6 million set in fiscal 2019, according to a statement from the Lee County’s bailiff’s office. The funds come from the 5% county tourist tax, which is applied to all hotel stays and rentals of six months or less.

Fiscal year 2022 is also on a record course: In October, the county reportedly collected 2.4 million US dollars – an increase of 29% compared to October 2020 and an increase of 65% compared to October 2019, the 1.46 million US -Dollars.

“Tourism is a big engine of our economy and finances one in five jobs in Lee County,” Lee County Clerk and Auditor Linda Doggett said in the statement. “The best thing about the bed tax is that it benefits everyone in Lee County, but it doesn’t cost us a dime.”

The tourist tax is collected and distributed by the bailiff and is said to help fund destination marketing, local sports facilities, and the maintenance of 50 miles of Lee County’s beach and coastline. The funds will also be used to fund local nonprofits at more than 40 local attractions.

During fiscal 2020 – at the height of the pandemic – $ 39.6 million in bed taxes were collected, which is close to the total for fiscal 2015, the statement said. The district’s fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th. “We hope our tourism tax levies will continue to grow as we recover from the pandemic,” Doggett said in the statement.

Lee County joins several other counties and cities in the region to build high tourism brands. For example, Visit Tampa Bay, the destination marketing organization for Tampa and Hillsborough Counties, recently reported that it collected $ 38.4 million in bed tax in the last fiscal year, which ran from October 2020 to September 2021. The agency adds that six of the tax revenues were recorded in record bed tax revenues in the twelve months of the year.

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