Sarasota tourism revenue is in decline for the third consecutive month in a row. This has translated into a 12 percent drop in October 2018’s bed tax figures compared to those from October 2017. The tourist development tax is a 5 percent charge on the revenue from short-term rentals, such as Airbnbs. In Sarasota, these taxes are used for things like beach maintenance and nourishment, nature centers, sports centers, and cultural arts organizations. This drop in tourism was no doubt influenced greatly by the recent Red Tide outbreak, which devastated much of Florida’s west coast earlier this year. Decreasing hotel rates and the addition of several new hotels in the Sarasota and Manatee county also factored into the bed tax’s lower earnings.