Texas Governor Suspends Hotel Tax as Texans Might Pay It

September 15, 2008

We’ve noted previously:

If you’ve stayed in a hotel room in the United States, you probably paid tax on it. Not just your share of the hotel’s property tax and income taxes (embedded in the price), and not even the sales tax imposed on the transaction. Virtually every city (or other local government unit) imposes a separate (higher) tax on hotel stays.

Today at the National Conference of State Legislators in New Orleans, one speaker referred to raising hotel taxes as a great way to raise new revenue “without taxing your own folks.” That’s certainly true in a narrow parochial sense. But when everyone imposes a huge tax on hotel rooms, we’re all taxing each other.

More proof of that desire not to tax your own folks is in Texas this week, where Gov. Rick Perry has suspended hotel taxes for 14 days because so many Texans have had to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ike:

The governor also urged residents in Hurricane Ike’s path to heed local evacuation orders and assured residents that the state was “dedicating all of the resources necessary to protect Texans.”

The minute hotel taxes will have to paid by our folks, they get suspended. Alas.

More helpfully, the IRS has announced a seven-day extension for corporate tax payments in the affected areas, which would otherwise be due today.

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