Bed tax revenues jump again

Published: Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 09:53 AM.

Tourism continued its 2012 rebound in August with another month of gain in bed tax revenue.

Bed tax revenues were up by more than 15 percent in August compared to the same month in 2011, making it the eighth month among the 11 thus far reported in the fiscal year to show an increase over 2011.

The 2011-12 fiscal year began in October. Only that first month, July and April were bed tax receipts down compared to the prior year.

“We will continue to strive to continue that upswing,” said Jennifer Jenkins, executive director of the Gulf County Tourist Development Council.

The increases in revenue – bed tax receipts top $23 million with September’s report remaining to be finalized, an increase from $22.1 million from all of 2011 – is even more striking given the upheaval the agency had been through in the last year.

Those changes, which included the firing of the previous executive director and the hiring of Jenkins and all new office staff, also allowed the county to receive an extension for spending the last of its BP fine marketing dollars.

The TDC was supposed to spend the money by this summer, but the county received an extension until Dec. 31 to spend the remaining $150,000 in BP marketing money the TDC received last year.

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