Volusia County hotel bed tax sees nearly 80% drop amid coronavirus closures

TDT dollars fund Ocean Center, other county tourism projects

Volusia County beaches to start reopening this weekend

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Central Florida’s tourism economy has suffered mightily due to the coronavirus, causing huge downfalls in tourism tax dollars, otherwise known as tourist development tax collected from hotel and vacation rental stays.

The Volusia County Revenue Division reported a nearly 80% drop in tourist development tax, or TDT, dollars in April. The county collects a 6% tax on any hotel or resort stay. The money is used for tourism-related projects, including the Daytona Beach Ocean Center convention hall, and funds tourism marketing divided by three areas in the county, Halifax, southeast Volusia and west Volusia.

Compared to April 2019, which saw $1.1 million in tourist development tax revenue, this April only brought in $239,943. The county began to see the fallout from coronavirus closures in March when the county reported $1,024,406 in TDT dollars, compared to nearly $1.6 million from the same time last year.

The significant drop is due to the coronavirus pandemic, which caused Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue an executive stay-at-home order that caused many businesses to close for months, beginning in April.

Similarly in Orange County, Comptroller Phil Diamond reported a record 97% drop in revenue from tourism tax dollars in April.

“This is the smallest amount of TDT we’ve ever collected in one month," Diamond said.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.