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2008 Study on Hotel Room Taxes Quantifies Economic Impact

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) releases its 2008 Room Taxes and the Economic Impact on the Industry, analyzing the full impact on hotel tax changes on sales, jobs, and government revenue.  Funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) and conducted with assistance from Smith Travel Research, Charles W. de Seve, Ph.D., conducted this study as a follow up to similar projects in 1997 and 2003.

Among the major findings of the survey, the survey revealed:

- Room taxes average 13.4 percent, about $13.57 per night nationwide, in addition to the average room rate of about $94.69 for 2008.  The national average of these combined bed taxes is up from an average of 12.4 percent in 2003;
· A two percent addition to room taxes would cost the nation 327,000 jobs, $10,000 million in wages, $33,000 million in sales, while gaining net revenue only about one-half of the tax increase.

Additionally, the report features state-by-state tables describing the economic benefits of tourism expenditures an analysis of the various bed taxes found in each state, identifying the state and local occupancy and sales tax rates where it applies to lodging. 

"In the past decade, AH&LEF has spent $2.4 million on research alone.  In that time we've continuously focused on the increasing hotel room taxes in order to minimize their impact on the average hotel guest.  As with past studies, it was no surprise to find a strong link exists between taxes and economic activity of the hospitality community," says foundation president/COO Joori Jeon, CPA, CAE.  
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