Tax Results for the City of Santa Barbara

Authored on
April 20, 2022

Sales Tax Results for the City of Santa Barbara – Quarter Ended December 31, 2021

The City of Santa Barbara received $7.4 million in sales tax revenue during the quarter ended December 31, 2021, which is 32% above the same quarter last year. This increase is largely due to improved economic activity since last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was still at its peak. Other contributing factors are the effects of inflation, continued growth in online sales, and the collection of deferred sales taxes (which were instituted by the Governor as an early COVID-19 relief measure for businesses). The quarter ended December 31, 2021, reflects sustained economic activity that was not significantly impacted by the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The December quarter is the second quarter of the City’s fiscal year and the sales tax revenue budget for the fiscal year is $23.2 million.

For additional information on recent sales tax results, click here.

Transient Occupancy Tax Results for the City of Santa Barbara – Month Ended March 31, 2022

The City of Santa Barbara collected $2.6 million in transient occupancy taxes (TOT) for March 2022. TOT revenues in March 2022 were about $1.1 million above March collections last year—which was significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and travel advisories. Compared to the pre-pandemic levels of March 2019, revenues were higher by 54%; however, this is largely due to increased average daily rates, which are 50% higher than March 2019.

The local travel industry’s steady improvement in demand for rooms has continued into the spring season as more Covid-related restrictions have been lifted. As of March, occupancy levels continued to show signs of stabilizing around pre-pandemic levels. The City has collected $22.7 million through March, the ninth month in the City’s fiscal year. The City’s adopted TOT budget for all funds is $23.4 million, of which $19.5 million is budgeted in the General Fund.

The Transient Occupancy Tax table can be viewed here. The City’s TOT tax rate is 12%. 10% goes to the City’s General Fund and the remaining 2% goes to the Creeks/Clean Water Fund.



Contact Info

Jennifer Tomaszewski, Finance and Treasury Manager