Duluth's tourism tax collections dip slightly in SeptemberTourism tax collections in Duluth have been climbing this year, with collections up each month over 2012.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
Tourism tax collections in Duluth have been climbing this year, with collections up each month over 2012.
That is, until September.
The month’s total hospitality collections of nearly $780,000 were down about $9,000 or 1.1 percent from 2012, according to city tallies released last week.
“I was rather surprised to see the reduction,” City Treasurer Brian Hansen said. “We were actually having a good year.”
Taxes generated from hotel/motel taxes were down 1.8 percent over 2012 while food/beverage tax collections dipped 0.3 percent.
Chalk it up to the power of the two-day weekend.
September had four Friday-Saturday combinations, while September 2012 had the edge with 4.5 weekends.
“It could in effect be the whole thing,” Hansen said of September’s dip. “If we only have a partial weekend, tourism activity won’t be robust.”
As Hansen explains it, Duluth is a tourist destination, but people don’t come here for a whole week. They come for a weekend.
“So when we have fuller weekend combinations in a month, it does have an impact,” he said.
Despite the September drop, Duluth is still on track for a record year in tourism taxes generated through its current hotel/motel and food/beverage taxes.
So far this year, total tourism taxes of $5.9 million are up 4.6 percent over 2012’s $5.6 million.
However, if the two additional taxes that were collected — until a year ago — are included in the totals, 2012’s record total of $8.4 million couldn’t be beat in 2013.