Although the final figures may change a bit, it appears the city of Sarasota topped Siesta Key in Sarasota County tourist tax collections for the 2011 fiscal year.
According to figures through September, as reported by the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office, the city of Sarasota had collected $3,612,017.89, or 31.75% of the total tourist development tax revenue, compared to $3,604,779.44, or 31.68%, for the Key.
Siesta was the top location for the tax collections the two preceding fiscal years, the Tax Collector’s Office reported.
Through August, the Key had managed to retain its position atop the county location rankings, with collections totaling $3,477,064.13, compared to $3,390,925.40 for the city.
Liz Klaber, chief deputy tax collector for the county, said because of late payments, final figures sometimes are adjusted a month after the initial numbers are posted. The Tax Collector’s Office has not released its final report for the 2011 fiscal year.
Although the County Commission last year raised the tourist development tax to 5%, the Tax Collector’s Office also released comparison figures at the 3% level from the 2006 fiscal year through the 2011 fiscal year. Of those six fiscal years, 2008 had the highest revenue total, using the 3% figure: $7,859,803. For the 2011 fiscal year, the total at the 3% level was $7,324,262.
Virginia Haley, president of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau, has pointed to the impact the Key’s No. 1 beach ranking this year has had on the entire county. People drawn to Sarasota County the by the Siesta publicity have found more areas to explore than just the beach, she has said.
“I would like to remind people to put in perspective the whole west coast of Florida had a good summer,” she said Monday. “We just did a little bit better than everybody else” because of the widespread publicity about the beach."
Click here to view a graphic of Tourist Development Tax Collections