FORT MYERS, FLA. – Tourism hit a new record in Lee County in 2021, raking in more than $53.3 million in bed taxes for the fiscal year, according to the latest figures released by the Lee County Clerk of Court.
The 5% tourist tax, which is applied to all hotel stays and rentals of six months or less, surpassed the previous record of $42.6 million in fiscal year 2019.
“Tourism is a huge driver of our economy, funding one out of every five jobs in Lee County,” said Linda Doggett, Lee County Clerk of the Court and Comptroller. “The best part of the bed tax is that all Lee County residents benefit from it, but it doesn’t cost us a penny.”
The tourist tax is collected and distributed by the Clerk of Court and helps fund destination marketing, local sports facilities, and maintenance of our 50 miles of beach and shoreline. The monies also go toward funding local non-profit organizations at more than 40 local attractions.
During fiscal year 2020 in the peak of the pandemic, $39.6 million was collected in bed taxes, closely matching the total from fiscal year 2015. The county’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.
“We’re hopeful that as we continue to recover from the pandemic, our tourism tax collections will continue to grow,” Doggett said. “During October 2021, we collected $2.4 million, a 29% increase from October 2020 and a 65% increase from October 2019, which only brought in $1.46 million.”
For more information about tourist development tax, please visit leeclerk.org/tdt.
ABOUT THE CLERK’S OFFICE:
The Florida Constitution established the Clerk of the Circuit Court as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Linda Doggett is directly elected by and accountable to Lee County residents. In addition to the role of Clerk of the Circuit Court, the Clerk is the County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, and the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Lee County.