August another record-setting month for Orange County Tourist Development Tax collections

August 2022 collections improve on 2021 by 42%

SeaWorld Orlando (Landon McReynolds, WKMG)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond on Thursday announced August 2022 set its own bar with the highest Tourist Development Tax collections for the month on record.

Though far from the county’s highest-ever monthly TDT collections, made in March 2022 at over $38.5 million, August 2022 pulled in $23,405,100, lower than July’s by $5.1 million yet higher than August 2021′s collections by nearly $7 million.

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According to the comptroller’s website, the TDT is a 6% tax paid by guests renting or leasing living quarters or other accommodations in Orange County for six months or less.

Citing Visit Orlando, Diamond said August’s TDT performance was fueled by a steady hotel demand “at 1% above 2019″ and an Average Daily Rate at $125.60 vs. $107.01 in August 2019. For reserves, Diamond reported the Renewal and Replacement Reserve increased by $9.4 million in August.

A bar graph comparing monthly Orange County TDT collections in fiscal years 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22, with the month of August highlighted throughout. (Phil Diamond - Orange County Comptroller)

TDT collections can’t be spent on just anything, however. According to the comptroller’s website, expenditures for the first four cents of the six-cent tax are limited by state statute “to the acquisition and operation of convention centers, sports stadiums and arenas, auditoriums and museums, promotion and/or advertisement of tourism and funding of tourist and convention bureaus and tourist information centers,” the fifth cent is used to pay the debt service on bonds issued for “the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a professional sports franchise facility or subsequently a convention center or promote and advertise tourism,” and the sixth cent is used “to pay the debt service on bonds issued to finance the construction, reconstruction, or renovation of a new professional sports franchise facility or a retained spring training franchise that was not based in Florida prior to April 1, 1987.”

Diamond said he recommended on Aug. 9 that the Board of County Commissioners make no new major funding commitments until annual TDT collections hit $300 million, as well as until the same amount in TDT reserves was reached and maintained. The collections milestone was attained in August, he said, while TDT reserves were $259 million as of Aug. 31.

“On an annual basis, fiscal year-to-date collections totaled $311.9 million through August marking the highest annual collections ever with one month still remaining in the fiscal year. This shatters the previous record of $284 million for fiscal year 2018-19,” Diamond said in a statement.

The September TDT report will be released in early November, Diamond said.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.