The Global Business Travel Association has released the 2011 findings from its annual study of car rental, hotel and meal taxes in the top 50 U.S. travel destination cities– and the results might surprise you. For example, cities in Florida and California are cited as having the lowest taxes.
All taxes are not the same…some specifically target travelers, like Phoenix’s $2.50 rental car fee that goes to the “Maricopa County Stadium for debt retirement.” Or the 5% rental car tax imposed by San Antonio to fund “youth and amateur sports facilities.”
Cities with the lowest total tax burden ($20-$25 per day) in central city locations:
4. Detroit, MI
5. Portland, OR
NOTE: The full list now includes many cities in California where the state sales tax recently declined a full percentage point.
Cities with the highest total taxes (around $35 per day) on travelers are:
1. Chicago, IL
2. New York, NY
3. Seattle, WA
4. Boston, MA
Discriminatory travel taxes are those imposed specifically on travel services above and beyond general sales taxes (like the ones imposed on airport car rentals to fund local projects).
The U.S. cities with the lowest discriminatory travel tax rates are:
3. San Jose, CA
4. Burbank, CA
5. Ontario, CA
Cities with the highest discriminatory travel taxes (those that single out travelers):
1. Portland, OR
2. Boston, MA
4. New York, NY
5. Chicago, IL