Crystal Coast Raised $ 2 Million In Occupancy Tax Revenue In June, Closing Fiscal Year At $ 11.5 Million | New
EMERALD ISLAND – Carteret County occupancy tax figures for June are available and they broke the collection record for the month of over $ 600,000.
Revenue from the 6% rental housing tax totaled $ 2,186,741, up 38% from the June 2020 total of $ 1,582,344.
In his monthly report for the Carteret County Beach Commission meeting scheduled for Monday, county shoreline protection office director Greg Rudolph wrote that the skyrocketing total is significant for a few other reasons.
“This marks the 13th consecutive month for which the monthly record has been eclipsed, from June 2020 to June 2021, and it continues,” he wrote. “Plus, for the first time, we have a second month of $ 2 million. “
Previously, the only $ 2 million month was July 2020, at $ 2.41 million, which is the record for now, although figures for July 2021 are expected to be available soon.
The record-breaking $ 11.5 million 2020-21 fiscal year ended on June 30, and that total shattered the 2019-20 fiscal year total by “an astounding 58%,” Rudolph said. wrote in his note to the beach commission.
The 2021 total for January through June stands at $ 5.09 million, more than half of the $ 9.04 million for the 2020 calendar year. Officials expect July 2021 to be a record high. , as well as a busy fall season. The total for the 2019 calendar year was $ 7.52 million.
Another interesting fact reported by Mr. Rudolph is that in fiscal year 2020-21, all three areas of the county occupancy tax – hotel / motel, condominium / cabins and online – were on the rise. The largest increase was recorded in the online sector, which increased by 187%.
The online industry is made up of people who book accommodation through other means than rental agencies and direct bookings with hotels and motels. It includes private rental options like Vrbo and Airbnb, which until recent years weren’t always factored into the resort tax collection process.
Mr Rudolph said the increase is not surprising and can be attributed to “changing and evolving booking options, technologies and models amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Yet the revenue collected in 2020-2021 in the hotel / motel sector was up 54% from 2019-20, and the condominium / chalet sector was up 34%.
The condominium / cabin sector led the way, as always, with tax collections totaling $ 6.25 million for 2020-2021, but for the very first time the online sector climbed to second place with 2, $ 66 million. In 2019-2020, the online total was $ 929,340.
The hotel / motel sector fell to the lowest total of three at $ 2.63 million.
At the end of July, Beach Board member Woody Warren of Emerald Isle, co-owner of Bluewater Realty, said based on advance bookings that it was clear tours in the county would end well. until August and the fall also looks promising.
Mr Rudolph, Mr Warren and others attributed the surge in tourism and occupancy tax collections to changing vacation habits and remote work opportunities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Carteret County Beach Food Reserve Fund, which receives 50% of occupancy tax revenue, stood at approximately $ 16.8 million at the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“We are in a very good financial position to start the 2021-2022 fiscal year,” Rudolph told the committee, “given that it was about three years ago, in September 2018, before Hurricane Florence, our reserve value was just north of $ 18. million. “
Since then, in calendar years 2019, 2020 and 2021, the county has spent $ 85 million on three major beach power projects.
Mr Rudolph noted that not all of the $ 16.8 million in the reserve fund can be attributed to the occupancy tax, as refunds and grants for beach projects are also housed in the reserve fund.
According to the county’s beach engineering company, Moffatt & Nichol, the beaches of Bogue Banks have lost an estimated 3.2 million cubic meters of sand due to Florence and the island’s shoreline has receded an average of 21 feet. . The beach supply plans since the storm covered almost the entire island shoreline with nearly 6 million cubic meters of sand.
Despite all of this, Mr Rudolph wrote in his report, “with the invaluable assistance of FEMA and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, we are at almost the same reserve level three years later. Florence”.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; send an e-mail to [email protected]; or follow us on Twitter @brichccnt.