Tourism spending in Alabama during the fiscal year 2013 increased by 4 percent to a new record, according to preliminary tax data from the Department of Revenue. This represents the third record year in a row with expenditures exceeding $10 billion each year, tourism director Lee Sentell said.
A detailed spending report for the 2013 calendar year by county and category will be generated by Dr. Keivan Deravi and released by the Governor’s Office in the spring of 2014, officials said. Tourism officials noted that lodgings taxes in August increased by 5.5 percent over the past year and by 10.35 percent over the past two years. Seventy-five percent of the state’s 4 percent lodgings tax goes into the state’s General Fund. Sales taxes, which support the Education Trust Fund, grew by $9 million from August 2011 to the same month in 2013. The month was closely watched because legislators pushed back the start of the school year by two weeks for the past two Augusts to generate more revenue for state government. The legislation automatically expires unless renewed in 2014.