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Hotel Tourism Levy
Old 08-07-2016, 05:02 AM   #1
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Hotel Tourism Levy

About a year ago my spouse read an article about the hotel tourism levy that is frequently added to hotel bills. It is called several things and often amounts to 3 percent.

This is not a mandatory tax, rather a levy by the local tourism authority. We are travelling now. Just had $6.44 reversed from our bill when I asked them to delete this charge. It is not a lot of money however we see no Eason to pay an extra three points to pay for the tourist authority's marketing efforts.

Just wish I had known about this years ago.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:51 AM   #2
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Yep, hotels and rental car agencies tack on lots of stuff. "Come visit our city, never mind the robber-baron-like taxes and fees..."
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:35 AM   #3
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Is this different from (or in addition to) the typical 8 - 12% "hotel tax" I often see on my hotel/motel bills? I've always hated that tax and found it especially infuriating. I have never noticed any additional, optional tourism levy.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:39 AM   #4
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It's called taxing the people who don't have the ability to vote you out of office. We live in the KC area and KC and Phoenix, last I checked, had the two highest tax burdens on car rentals.


At one point the UK imposed an extra surcharge on people flying Business Class in and out of Heathrow. Just made me want to avoid LHR all the more.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by brett View Post
About a year ago my spouse read an article about the hotel tourism levy that is frequently added to hotel bills. It is called several things and often amounts to 3 percent.

This is not a mandatory tax, rather a levy by the local tourism authority. We are travelling now. Just had $6.44 reversed from our bill when I asked them to delete this charge. It is not a lot of money however we see no Eason to pay an extra three points to pay for the tourist authority's marketing efforts.

Just wish I had known about this years ago.
I totally forgot about this...
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:49 AM   #6
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In our past several hotel stays the itemized bill consisted of the room charge, the tax, and the something called anything from a tourist levy to just a few initials. Usually about 3-5 percent, or a flat fee.

This is the one that I routinely get reversed. It is a tourist or convention bureau change that the have no authority to levy. People overlook it because it is a relaatively small amount. We simply stopped paying it I must not be the only one either because the front desk folks have not been surprised at my request to reverse the charge.
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:52 AM   #7
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It's called taxing the people who don't have the ability to vote you out of office. We live in the KC area and KC and Phoenix, last I checked, had the two highest tax burdens on car rentals.
I've noticed KC is really bad. I flew in there a couple times to visit family 3 hours away, because of better airfare and more flight options than the local airports. I realized the rental car taxes ate up the airfare savings so I stopped doing that.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:07 AM   #8
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It's called taxing the people who don't have the ability to vote you out of office. We live in the KC area and KC and Phoenix, last I checked, had the two highest tax burdens on car rentals.
..............
When I rent a car in Portland, I take the light rail downtown and rent the car for literally about half the airport price, even when returned to the airport. Not sure if the difference is direct taxes or just the usual gouging of travelers.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:46 AM   #9
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I often see a "resort fee" tacked on at ordinary hotels. You can usually get this removed too.
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Old 08-08-2016, 11:58 AM   #10
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When I rent a car in Portland, I take the light rail downtown and rent the car for literally about half the airport price, even when returned to the airport. Not sure if the difference is direct taxes or just the usual gouging of travelers.
Yes, when I traveled regularly to Portland, it always struck me that car rentals at the airport had some really egregious fees tacked on. More or less equal to the cost of the rental, as I recall.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:08 PM   #11
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Yes, when I traveled regularly to Portland, it always struck me that car rentals at the airport had some really egregious fees tacked on. More or less equal to the cost of the rental, as I recall.
That's typical of airport locations and it's frequently cheaper to rent from elsewhere in the city if you can get there.

My parents live in Myrtle Beach and the "Convention and Visitor's Bureau fee" on the hotel bill is an annoyance. We figure it pays for PR jobs for the friends and families of politicians.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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I often see a "resort fee" tacked on at ordinary hotels. You can usually get this removed too.
Have you done routinely, the resort fee is an add-on to the room rates and I'd be surprised if it is usually removed. I feel like they do it to make their room rate look cheaper on-line.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:37 PM   #13
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Have you done routinely, the resort fee is an add-on to the room rates and I'd be surprised if it is usually removed. I feel like they do it to make their room rate look cheaper on-line.
Not always successful, but sometimes. Yes, that's exactly why they do it. These local fees are also omitted. Some are actual taxes you can't escape, some are just "additional dealer profit" added by the hotel and hoping you won't complain.
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:55 AM   #14
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Our batting average on the removal of the infamous resort fee is less than fifty percent. We always ask, and argue a little especially if it is high... We have seen anywhere from $10-$25. per night.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:02 AM   #15
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Rental car taxes - that is the reason not to pay for the tank of gas at the car rental place because even if they have a great price per gallon, you pay those taxes on your gas too!

Didn't know about any tourism levy that could be deleted off hotel bills!
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:04 AM   #16
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Our batting average on the removal of the infamous resort fee is less than fifty percent. We always ask, and argue a little especially if it is high... We have seen anywhere from $10-$25. per night.
I thought Congress was taking on resort fees recently - mainly that they weren't included in the price quotes for a hotel.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:41 AM   #17
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Our batting average on the removal of the infamous resort fee is less than fifty percent. We always ask, and argue a little especially if it is high... We have seen anywhere from $10-$25. per night.
$39 at the Greenbrier. I had a deal for $99 there once. Not such a deal when the resort fee is added. I think it may have been $45 a few years ago. That's the number that sticks in my mind, but it's $39 now on their site.
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:03 PM   #18
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When I rent a car in Portland, I take the light rail downtown and rent the car for literally about half the airport price, even when returned to the airport. Not sure if the difference is direct taxes or just the usual gouging of travelers.
Did the same in Seattle. Seatac airport taxes are very high.
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Old 08-09-2016, 03:39 PM   #19
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San Diego has a hybrid tax for visitors... 10.5% for hotel tax (not negotiable/refundable) and between .55 and 2% transit marketing district "assessment" - which is voluntarily collected by the hotels - and you could probably talk your way to a refund. (The different rates are for size of hotel - 30 units or more is 2%, smaller hotels and vacational rentals pay 0.55.)

San Diego is having quite a controversy right now - two competing bills on the November ballot to raise "TOT" - transient occupancy tax.... AKA hotel and VRBO type short rental taxes. It would be a big hike - like up to 16%.

One measure is raising it to earmark it for a new downtown football stadium - this is the plan being pushed by the Chargers. The other is to earmark it to expand the convention center (home to ComicCon who is outgrowing the current facility). The convention center expansion would potentially allow the Chargers to build a stadium downtown.

Given that tourism is a huge industry here - it seems silly to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.... Tourists and conventions will likely rethink things if the TOT tax goes up to 16%.

We considered putting our granny flat as a vacation rental - but compliance with the TOT tax collection increased the hassle factor.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:54 PM   #20
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Such taxes keep our local gummint flush with money to bribe the "usual suspects" for votes. It's a disgrace, but in theory, it keeps kama'aina taxes low(er). I can foresee a time when it could affect overall hotel occupancy. At some point, the hotels can't lower their room rates any more and folks will just stay away. Hope that's not soon. I know folks who resent "tourists", but I love them 'cause they bring in a significant portion of our tax base. Just hope the local gummint doesn't kill the golden goose.
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