The Tourist Development Council’s 2012-13 fiscal year has started off strong, if the first two months are any indication.
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 passed the $50,000 mark for an October, the first month of the fiscal year.
The take for Oct. 2012 was $53,543, a jump of $5,160 from the year before, or a 10.67 percent climb.
Following that, in Nov. 2012, the revenue was $40,334, nearly $5,900 more than the year before and an even better 17.1 percent improvement. This marked the first time that November’s numbers, typically in the $20,000 to $30,000 range, eclipsed the $40,000 mark.
The numbers for December have not yet arrived from the state. Revenue for December is typically the lowest of all the months, and has averaged around the $20,000 mark, only about one-seventh of the three busy summer months, May, June and July.
At the present pace, the TDC could see its first $1 million year for bed tax revenue.
The county’s overnight accommodations last year generated a little more than $916,000, about $113,000 more than the previous year.
TDC officials, however, are beginning conservative in their forecasts, and have projected only about $800,000 for the year.
So far this year, the county is averaging about 13 percent better revenues than at this point last year. Prior to that, from 2005 to 2010, October and November only produced about two-thirds the revenue than it did this fiscal year.
With the exception of a slight drop in the 2008-9 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.