While President Donald Trump visits have cost Palm Beach County nearly $4 million, his first five stays here have only boosted the county’s tourism tax collections by about $36,000, tourism leaders said Thursday.
Glenn Jergensen, executive director of the county’s Tourist Development Council, said government officials who travel with the president are exempt from paying the county’s “bed tax” – a 6 percent tax levied on all hotel stays here.
The county collects roughly $50 million a year in bed taxes. That money is used to promote the county as a tourist destination for out-of-town visitors, renourish local beaches, and help pay for the construction of the county’s convention center and spring training baseball facilities.
The tourism agency estimates that Trump brings about 300 people to the county every time he visits – including government staff, secret service officials and members of the press.
Each visit results in about 1,200 nightly hotel bookings, assuming a 4 night stay during each trip, Jergensen said.
The bookings are estimated to bring in about $238,000 in hotel room revenue during each of Trump’s visits. But only about half of that amount is taxable because roughly 50 percent of the rooms are booked by government employees, Jergensen said.
As a result, the county collects about $7,100 in bed taxes during each presidential visit, the agency’s analysis found.