Tourist Development Tax collection showed a 1,199% increase in South Walton for April 2021 compared with the previous year (statewide short-term rental ban was in effect for the entire month of April). Total collections for April 2021 were $4,931,888. When compared to pre-COVID collections (at 2% to eliminate issues of tax rate changes), April's TDT collection was a 177% increase compared to April 2019.
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.