86ºF

Florida hotel tax revenues plunge amid pandemic

South Florida hotels hashing out safety protocols before they can open
South Florida hotels hashing out safety protocols before they can open

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – State and local tax revenues from hotels will drop an estimated $1.3 billion this year in Florida because of the coronavirus-driven reduction in travel, according to a study released Thursday by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

The study, conducted by Oxford Economics, projected that the hotel industry tax impact in Florida will be among the largest in the nation, trailing a $1.9 billion impact in California and matching a $1.3 billion impact in New York.

“This year is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy, and experts estimate it will be at least 2022 before hotels return to their 2019 occupancy and revenue levels,” the association said in a new release.

In May, Florida economists projected that overall state sales-tax collections in April were down $598.2 million from an earlier estimate.

The association’s news release said more than 70 percent of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed.

Nationally, the drop in hotel operations and occupancy is projected to lead to $16.8 billion in lost tax revenue for the year.

The association said hotels generated nearly $40 billion in state and local taxes nationally in 2018.