Like igniting gun powder on an open wound, August’s bed tax collection numbers were a piercing pain in an open wound. We talked about last month that July’s bed tax collection numbers were down 14.58% total, including the normal first three cents combined with the additional 4th and 5th cent. As if that wasn’t bad enough, August’s numbers were just released and rang in at 14.74% down over August of 2009. Remember, this number is a comparison of year over year and fails to take into consideration the potential for increase as a result of normal growth and the explosion we were expecting this summer with the opening of the new airport and millions of extra marketing dollars being pumped into this area.
So, what does the 14.74% mean, money-wise?
This loss in August equates to a loss of $139,659.58 in lost revenue to the County’s bed tax pool, which funds the Bay County Tourist Development Council. In terms of how it effected the beach businesses: $2.8 million in revenue that could have come into the area. If you look at the total lost revenue for the whole summer, over $10 million that could have gone to local businesses from regular tourism activity that was lost forever. The total bed tax revenue that was lost was in excess of a half million dollars.
Again, this only takes into consideration year over year losses, this doesn’t take into consideration the projected losses from anticipated growth. But, Bay County is in the process of retaining a law firm that will help them determine just how much we could have gained using the expertise of forensic accountants and economic accountants. So, we shall see!