Tourist Development Tax collection showed a 26 percent decrease in South Walton for November 2019 compared with the previous year. This decrease is in part related to Hurricane Michael's affects on increased room nights in 2018. Compared to 2017, with no hurricane impact, November's collection rates were a 13 percent decrease.
The Tourist Development Tax, or bed tax, is a four percent tax collected on hotels, condos and other short term rentals. It is the best way to gauge visitation and demand trends in South Walton. The revenue supports tourism marketing and beach operations including cleaning and maintaining beaches, lifeguards, destination improvements and preservation initiatives.