For the first time since Franklin County’s two-cent bed tax was first put into place in 2005, the county’s annual tourist tax revenue has passed the $900,000 mark, with a better than $100,000 increase over last year.
Final figures for the Tourist Development Council’s 2012-13 fiscal year, which concluded at the end of September, show the county’s overnight accommodations generated a little more than $916,000, about $113,000 more than last year, for a better than 14 percent jump.
Numbers for September showed that, for the first time, that opening month of fall generated about $63,000, the first time a September has crossed the $60,000 mark, for a 9.5 percent boost over last year.
The county’s biggest boost over years past came last fall and winter, when four of the first six months of the fiscal year saw double-digit boosts, each greater than 30 percent.
October 2011 eclipsed the $40,000 mark for the first time ever, and at more than $48,000, was a 31 percent leap over the prior year.
In November 2011, TDC revenues crossed the $30,000 mark for the first time, totaling more than $34,000, for another 30 percent increase over the prior year.
December 2011, typically the slowest tourist month of the year, saw a modest 8.3 increase over the prior year. But in January 2012, the monthly total crossed the $30,000 mark for the first time, a 30 percent boost over the prior year.
In February 2012, the county crossed the $50,000 mark for the first time, amassing more than $52,000 in revenues, for a whopping 49 percent increase over the prior year.
March 2012 was a modest 7.4 percent over the prior year, but April 2012 again established a milestone – crossing the $80,000 mark for the first time, and posting a nearly 16 percent increase over the prior year.
May 2012 was the best such month ever, with revenues of more than $140,000, a nearly 55 percent hike over the prior year.
But with June and July 2012 both in the $140,000 range, showing modest declines from the year prior, TDC officials believe the summer 2012 discrepancies were based mostly on the fact that collectors of the tax have different schedules.
August 2012 roared back by eclipsing the $90,000 mark for the first time, its nearly $94,000 in receipts a 54.7 percent leap over the year prior.
With the exception of a slight drop in the 2007-8 fiscal year, TDC revenues have increased every year since the tax was put into place in 2005, beginning with about $698,000 in its first complete fiscal year of existence.