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Orange County tourism tax dollars down 66% in November but slow rebound continues

$8.7 million in Orange County tourist development tax collections for November

Orange County comptroller sees signs of hope after September hotel stays bring in $7 million
Orange County comptroller sees signs of hope after September hotel stays bring in $7 million

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County tax collections from hotel and resort stays continued to be at historic lows through the end of 2020 due to the pandemic as COVID-19 infections are on the rise country wide, according to an update from the County Comptroller’s office.

Tourism Development Taxes, or TDT dollars, are released a month after the completed tax period. On Wednesday, the Comptroller Phil Diamond shared November’s intake was more than $8.7 million. That is a 66% drop from November 2019.

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The county has continued to see a month over month improvement in TDT collections since the initial fallout in April when the lockdown began. In October, collections were down 69% compared to the same time last year with $7.7 million in TDT dollars.

However, the comptroller warned even with two vaccines now in circulation that good news was dampened by the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Florida and at the national level.

Florida reported more than 17,000 new infections on Wednesday and the state’s positivity rate has been above the CDC recommended 10% for almost a week.

To offset the drop in TDT funds, the county has been using reserves to meet funding obligations. So far the county has used $93.5 million in reserves since April.

The next TDT collection report will be released in February.