Oil Spill Barely Hurts June Bed Tax Collections

Despite a very dismal looking outlook at the beginning of the summer, the actual numbers for June are showing nearly even bed tax collections this year, compared to last year.  In June, a total of $1,88,269.21 was collected.  This compares to $1,946,037.92 in tax revenue that was collected in June of 2009.  The actual variance is just over $61,000, or -3.17%.

This was an interesting summer, we had tons of things lined up to all but guarantee the best summer tourist season we’ve had in years.  Ironically, right before the season began, there was what some may call a monstrous accident just a few short hundred miles away.  After a summer of weekly and even daily threats, the damaged perception left our local industry practically starving for business and pleading with their customers to keep their reservations.  The rental climate changed from one of knowing how the numbers were going to be all summer before Memorial Day, to guessing what the next week would hold for rental revenue.  Shops and restaurants had no idea what to expect, but were bracing for the worst.  Talking to retailers and resorts, numbers were way off this year.  Obviously some fared better than others, but overall most suffered to some degree.

But lets get back to the bed tax numbers.  The numbers were only down 3.17% this year.  That doesn’t seem all bad, right?  Well, you have to consider that a deficit of any amount is going to spread hurt across the board.  You have to consider that with any new additions to the rental or retail inventory, plus some businesses ability to reach their customers over other businesses, that 3.17% can mean quite a different story for different people.

All in all, I think we are blessed to have done as well as we did, in Panama City Beach, despite the looming threat that impaled the perception of our beach this summer.  Hopefully next year no outside forces will impede all the work that has been put into increasing our local tourism business.

July’s numbers should be out within the week, which will be the real test to see how the summer really fared.  Stay tuned!

6 thoughts on “Oil Spill Barely Hurts June Bed Tax Collections

  1. I like your positive title, but as you say, the figures are deceptive. We started our year really good with two rental units and were looking at a better year than the last two. The publics’ outlook was more positive and people were booking early and paying decent prices. I would say we could have improved our total for the year by at least 25%. Then the disaster occurred and the calls quit coming, except for the cancellations.

    I would say we had a decline in bed taxes of 28% rather than 3%.

    There definitely were more units available over last year, which would explain why the TDC didn’t report much of a loss. If you look back at some of the auctions that occurred; places like Laketown furnished and rented units owned by the bank; developers in the newer resorts unloaded many properties.


  2. Ours too, our management company reduced rates up to 40% in an effort to bring in business. Our June, even though we were booked as much as last year, our receipts were down 32%.
    As Jim said the available rental units dramatically increased this year compared to last. Folks that manage their own units through VRBO panicked and offered ridiculous prices just to get a “head in the bed”, our year so far has been terrible. It truly was a “name your own price” year.
    I think your story misses the big picture, it’s been a tough season, normally Summer takes us through the rest of the year, not this one for sure. It might be good to look at the slight reduction in overall receipts versus the number of condos offered for rental 2009 against 2010, I think a totally different picture will emerge.


  3. Can’t wait until July numbers come out……….. nothing positive will come of that. Just thinking about next season, this one is done after this weekend.


  4. Well the July numbers are in, DOWN 14.78% from last year. Thank you BP and all you panicked VRBO owners who reduced your rates 30% to 50% just in an effort to put a head in a bed. The dramatic reduction by some on the rates created a feeding frenzy by the tourists, just “how low will you go”.
    Brace yourself, I feel August will be worse.


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