New Study: Best and Worst Cities for Travel Taxes
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Whether you’re traveling for work or just for fun this summer, it’s good to know some things about the city you’re traveling to — including how expensive it is to stay there. Thankfully, a new study released in May by The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) will give you a good idea what to expect when it comes to how much you’ll spend in daily taxes in some of the nation’s most popular tourist cities.
The GBTA, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a nonprofit that tracks business travel data and trends. For the study, the GBTA looked at the top 50 travel destinations in the U.S., and calculated the tax burden in each city based on a single night’s stay.
The top 50 markets were ranked by overall travel tax burden, including general sales tax and “discriminatory” taxes, which are travel-related taxes in addition to general sales taxes, such as for car rentals, hotel stays and meals.
To calculate the average cost of a one day stay in a given city, the GBTA researchers took the national average of a nightly hotel room stay ($105.31), average daily car rental cost ($57.05), and average cost of daily meals ($93.32). Added up, the average cost of a one day stay is $255.68.
Additional amounts were taken into account in cities where taxes are preset as a percentage of how much is spent. In other cases, taxes are set as a flat fee — for example, Boston charges a $10 daily tax on rental cars.
Here’s a list of the cities with the highest and lowest average daily tax burden for travelers:
Cities with the highest average daily taxes for travelers:
1. Chicago: $41.04
2. New York: $38.65
3. Minneapolis: $36.70
4. Kansas City, MO: $36.61
5. Indianapolis: $36.00
6. Cleveland: $35.417
7. Boston: $35.32
8. Seattle: $35.11
9. Nashville, TN: $34.75
10. Houston: $34.16
Cities with the lowest average daily taxes for travelers:
1. Fort Lauderdale, FL: $22.61
2. Fort Myers, FL: $22.61
3. West Palm Beach, FL: $22.61
4. Detroit: $22.80
5. Portland, OR: $22.86
6. Orange County, CA: 23.61
7. Burbank, CA: $24.59
8. Honolulu: $24.67
9. Ontario, CA: $24.93
10. Orlando, FL: $24.94
GBTA’s advice to cities and states
Joseph Bates, the GBTA’s Vice President of Research offered some advice to cities and states regarding travel taxes, “Business travel is a key driver of economic growth, but overly burdensome taxes on business travel can often do more harm than good, especially when those taxes unfairly target visitors. Cities and states must think carefully about the sales that local businesses will lose because of the higher costs that travel taxes impose.”
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