Tourist Development Tax collection showed a 5.95% decrease in South Walton for June 2020 compared with the previous year. This decrease can be directly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tourist Development Tax, or bed tax, is a five 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.
On Aug. 11, the Walton County Board of County Commissioners voted to move forward with scheduling a referendum on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot, that, if approved by the voters, would expand the Tourist Development Taxing area to all currently untaxed areas of the county, creating a North Walton TDC, which would collect a 2 percent bed tax on hotels, condos and other short term rentals north of the Choctawhatchee Bay.