(The Center Square) – Hotels continue to recover from the pandemic, and lodging taxes added to an overnight stay continue to fill up state and local coffers.
Hawaiianislands.com looked at the average lodging taxes for every state, with some surprising results.
“It basically looked at all of the lodging taxes that tourists would have to pay when they’re visiting a state, so basically there are state taxes, local taxes, occupancy taxes, so many taxes that have been added to final costs,” researcher Jasmin Diaz said.
Lodging taxes are typically levied as a percentage of value on short-term overnight stays at hotels and other lodging accommodations. In a number of cities, state and municipal governments have formed districts to levy additional lodging taxes on hotels within a certain geographical area.
Lodging taxes typically support tourism marketing and the repayment of debt for tourism-related projects.
The lodging tax in Illinois averages 11.17%, which puts the Land of Lincoln near the middle of the pack.
Alabama has the most expensive average at 23%, followed by Idaho and Kansas. Diaz said it is surprising that states that rely on tourism dollars didn’t dominate the top of the list.
“Places like Vegas, California or even Florida have more visitors each year than places like Alabama, and those weren’t at the top,” Diaz said.
The less-frequented states with fewer hotels are the destinations that have fewer tax rates added to the accommodation cost, Diaz said.
The lowest lodging taxes in the country are in Montana, South Dakota and New Hampshire, all coming under 9%.