Pinellas County Tax Collector Brings Home Record-Setting Bed Tax Dollars

PINELLAS COUNTY, FL — Talk about an epic spring break.

Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas is pleased to announce record-breaking tourist development tax collections for short-term hotel and rental stays during March 2019. Collections surpassed $9.5 million, a 7.3% increase over the same month last year and the first time in Pinellas County history that collections have surpassed $9 million in a single month.

“These tax dollars are a win for our local tourism economy in Pinellas County,” said Thomas. “Our tourist development tax team is dedicated to collecting every possible dollar owed, and that effort is paying off big time.”

The tourist development tax, also known as the bed tax, is a six percent tax on accommodations such as hotels and rental homes rented for six months or less. In Pinellas County, the Board of County Commissioners determines where these tax dollars go, from beach restoration projects to sports complexes, museums, aquariums, and more. One of the primary recipients is the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, which promotes and advertises tourism for Pinellas County within the state and around the world.

In 2015, the Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office became the first in the state to pen a tourist development tax collection agreement with Airbnb. In October 2018, TripAdvisor and Expedia’s subsidiaries – VRBO.com, FlipKey.com, VacationHomeRentals.com, VacationRentals.com, HouseTrip.com, HolidayLettings.co.uk, and Niumba.com — also jumped on board to collect and remit the tax. Without these collection agreements, property owners would be required to collect and remit the taxes on their own.

For more information about tourist development taxes, visit www.taxcollect.com/tourist/.

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ABOUT THE PINELLAS COUNTY TAX COLLECTOR’S OFFICE: The Pinellas County Tax Collector’s Office is a constitutionally elected office. Responsibilities include collecting and distributing state and local taxes and providing driver license and motor vehicle registration services to Pinellas County residents. For more information, visit taxcollect.com.