No Gains in August Room Tax Collections

Room tax collections in August of this year decreased over the same month last year, flattened out by gains in some municipalities and losses in others. Sister Bay buoyed countywide collections in August with an 8.6 percent increase, while the City of Sturgeon Bay depressed the countywide total with a decrease of 9.9 percent.

Ten municipalities posted losses in room tax dollars year over year in August. The county is still four percent up in year over year room tax collections through August.

In August, room tax collections totaled $946,689, down slightly from $949,416 in 2016. August is the third month to show declines in room tax collections compared to last year, joining January and February.

Sister Bay has made the largest gains in room tax collections, with an 11.82 percent increase through 2017. Washington Island and the Town of Sturgeon Bay have also made double-digit gains.

Occupancy rates were also below last year’s August totals. Gibraltar, Sister Bay and Washington Island and the Town of Egg Harbor had increases in occupancy rates, all other municipalities had declines in occupancy rates. In some cases, the decline in occupancy rates is paired with an increase in the number of units available. But in many municipalities, including Baileys Harbor, the Village of Egg Harbor, Liberty Grove and the City of Sturgeon Bay, a decrease in occupancy rates is paired with a decrease in the number of available units, meaning both supply and demand have gone down. Countywide occupancy rates were flat in the month of August when compared to last year.

Other notes from the August Room Tax Report:

  • August collections declined 12.8 percent from July, leaving July as the busiest month of room tax collections this year so far.
  • The average room rate in August was $178. The most expensive average room rates in the county were reported in Sevastopol, at $233 per night. The cheapest rooms in August were on Washington Island, at $117 per night.
  • Visitors spent $17.4 million on lodging in August, a decrease of 2.5 percent from August of 2016.

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