The string of record-breaking months for tourist development tax collections ended in July, with short-term rental units on Siesta Key contributing $358,796 — 14% less than July 2011.
Siesta’s fees comprised about 33% of the total amount of bed taxes collected in Sarasota County, according to the latest data from the Sarasota County Tax Collector. Last July, the island contributed 40% of the county’s total.
The seaweed scourge on Siesta beaches following Tropical Storm Debby prompted several island residents and visitors to email Sarasota County Commissioner Nora Patterson about the marina flora, and lament its potential effects on tourism. Sarasota County staff has removed more than 300 tons of seaweed from beaches since July 1, according to a county news release, which noted fighting the issue is an uphill battle.