Autumn visitors boost tourist tax collections

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People get ready to watch the sun set on the Gulf of Mexico, a favorite pastime on AMI, Nov. 9 at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. Manatee County tourist tax collections in October exceeded 2018 totals by more than $145,000. Islander Photo: Sarah Brice

The weather cooled in Manatee County, but Manatee County tourist tax collections heated up.

In October, a net total of $783,135.52 was collected in tourist taxes — the rate is 5% and the tax, also known as the bed tax or resort tax, is collected on overnight rentals of six months or less.

The net was $145,146.52 over the 2018 collection of $637,989.00.

On Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach led with $179,003.91 or 22.86% of collections.

Anna Maria followed, with $101,123.47 or 12.91% of tourist taxes in the coffers.

Bradenton Beach collected $47,806.18 or 6.10% of the county totals.

Unincorporated Manatee County overall led collections with $299,7445.67 or 38.28% of the tourist taxes in the county.

Bradenton rang up $74,450.20 — 9.51% of the total — and Palmetto rounded out the numbers with $4,758.63 or 0.61%.

The 2019 number was the highest tourist tax collection of the previous five-years for October.

Numbers for 2014-2018 were:

  • 2014 — $534,624.23.
  • 2015 — $594,078.77.
  • 2016 — $660,565.44.
  • 2017 — $698,988.44.
  • 2018 — $637,989.00.

Tourist tax money is collected by the state and then funded back to the county.

State law requires using resort tax funds for tourism-related projects only.

Expenditures of the tourist tax dollars are recommended to the Manatee County Board of Commissioners by the tourist development council, a group of nine individuals, including business people and local officials, appointed to four-year terms.

Tourist tax collections are reported in arrears and October numbers were released Dec. 1.

The November numbers will be released Jan. 1, 2020.

The fiscal year runs Oct. 1-Sept. 30.