Oh No, It Passed...

19 replies [Last post]
Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Our new county transient room tax. Until now, we've only had to collect the 1% state lodging tax. Now our county put up a TRT in yesterday's election and of course it passed, because it's a way to fund roads without coming out of the local's pockets.

Starting 1/1/14 I'll have to collect 11% tax instead of 1%. I'm frightened that it's going to greatly impact our future bookings. The other counties in my region have had taxes in this same range, but over the years, not having to collect that much has allowed me to have higher rates to make up for the lack of tax.

In preparation of this, I've added to our policies on our website, ResKey and confirmation letters this statement "If tax rates change from time of booking, guest will be responsible at check-in for any additional room taxes due".

My plan of attack is to add the additional tax immediately to ResKey and not contact the few reservations we have for 2014, but just add it to their invoice they get when they're here and deal with it face to face if there is a problem.

I guess time will tell if it makes a significant drop in our revenue.

Any words of wisdom for me?

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

I hope this tax gives you extra tourism bucks to promote the area...and bring more happy campers to your inn! You can't fight city hall, as the saying goes, so better roll with the punches. 

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

OnTheShore's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/28/2011

Can't have travelers coming to visit if you don't have good roads!

__________________

"where even time relaxes...."

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

[quote=Harborfields]

Can't have travelers coming to visit if you don't have good roads!

[/quote

This is more than true. When West Virginia got its first Interstate, the economy started opening up and tourism really began.  As each new Interstate (or even 4-lane) opened, more travelers, more attractions, more business happened. A good highway is something that if you build it , they will come - and you do not even have to TELL people it is there, they WILL find it!

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

BD, our tax rate is also low, 3% + $1per night. (hotels in our area are 11.75% +$1, and in big city near us 15% + $2).

They don't take that into account at all.  And only rarely do I get asked if there are any other fees or what the total is with tax.   On the other hand if I sense that people are shopping prices, I will make sure they know of our low tax rate as compared to the others around.  99% of them will say they never thought about the tax.
I would be surprised if many even notice the difference.  Taxes are expected, and they chose you for what you offer and where you are at the rate you publish. 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Thanks CH, I appreciate your view on this. I keep trying to focus on the positive, which is that our county will soon get some real money to promote our area.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Breakfast Diva wrote:

...our county will soon get some real money to promote our area.

I thought you said, "...it's a way to fund roads without coming out of the local's pockets." If some is going for promotion then great. That softens the blow!

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

...our county will soon get some real money to promote our area.

I thought you said, "...it's a way to fund roads without coming out of the local's pockets." If some is going for promotion then great. That softens the blow!

Our state in it's wisdom (not being sarcastic) has a law that with any tourist tax, 70% must be used for tourism promotion. 30% is all that cities/counties can get their hands on. This 30% is the only reason our county even tried for a lodging tax, the fact that all the other funds would promote our area was secondary to them.

The problem now is that no one in our county has the faintest idea how to use the money that will be coming in for promotion. At this point I feel that I'm going to have to get on some sort of committies/boards to try to encourage the hiring of the right person/company that will take us in a positive direction. The small local myopic thinking of the powers that be around here will be difficult to educate.

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Breakfast Diva wrote:

The problem now is that no one in our county has the faintest idea how to use the money that will be coming in for promotion. At this point I feel that I'm going to have to get on some sort of committies/boards to try to encourage the hiring of the right person/company that will take us in a positive direction.

First step is to identify your market, and figure out how to reach them. I'm a big fan of tourism marketing expert Roger Brooks. One of the first things he will teach you is, avoid committees/boards. They will ruin EVERYTHING!!

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

The problem now is that no one in our county has the faintest idea how to use the money that will be coming in for promotion. At this point I feel that I'm going to have to get on some sort of committies/boards to try to encourage the hiring of the right person/company that will take us in a positive direction.

First step is to identify your market, and figure out how to reach them. I'm a big fan of tourism marketing expert Roger Brooks. One of the first things he will teach you is, avoid committees/boards. They will ruin EVERYTHING!!

ESPECIALLY if politicians (county commissioners, mayors) are on that Board

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

The problem now is that no one in our county has the faintest idea how to use the money that will be coming in for promotion. At this point I feel that I'm going to have to get on some sort of committies/boards to try to encourage the hiring of the right person/company that will take us in a positive direction.

First step is to identify your market, and figure out how to reach them. I'm a big fan of tourism marketing expert Roger Brooks. One of the first things he will teach you is, avoid committees/boards. They will ruin EVERYTHING!!

ESPECIALLY if politicians (county commissioners, mayors) are on that Board

Even if the politicians are the ones that select the board members.  They are all in bed together.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

gillumhouse wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

The problem now is that no one in our county has the faintest idea how to use the money that will be coming in for promotion. At this point I feel that I'm going to have to get on some sort of committies/boards to try to encourage the hiring of the right person/company that will take us in a positive direction.

First step is to identify your market, and figure out how to reach them. I'm a big fan of tourism marketing expert Roger Brooks. One of the first things he will teach you is, avoid committees/boards. They will ruin EVERYTHING!!

ESPECIALLY if politicians (county commissioners, mayors) are on that Board

I agree, but they are not going to give ME any of that money!

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

...our county will soon get some real money to promote our area.

I thought you said, "...it's a way to fund roads without coming out of the local's pockets." If some is going for promotion then great. That softens the blow!

In WV one HALF of the "bed tax" goes to support the CVB and the other half goes to the "collector of the fubds" (city or county) to be used for tourism purposes. It is usually used for things like sidewalks and parks  which are justified as being improving the area to bring in tourists.

Innkeep's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/04/2008

When I put on my traveler's hat, I usually don't figure in the taxes.  I know there will be some, but I don't make the decision about where to stay based on the percentage of taxes I'll be paying.  Hope that helps cheer you up.

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Thanks Innkeep. I don't look specifically at the taxes, but I do look at the total price per night (taxes included). This will now push a night stay to $200 or more per night. It just seems to me to be a big difference than $180 per night. Our 'cheap room' will go from $160 to $176 which doesn't seem as bad as hitting the $200 mark.

Hopefully, I'm worried for nothing!

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

They pay the exorbitant hotel taxes in Chicago, New York, LA without a thought - you are still cheaper.

OnTheShore's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/28/2011

Does any of the information that's already been sent to your 2014 reservations (e.g. confirmation letter, etc...) tell them what their outstanding balance is (was)? If so, then I think it would be a common courtesy to send them an updated confirmation statement, reflecting the tax that will be in effect for their stay.  

If your reservations do not get a statement of their balance due as part of your process, then I guess I probably wouldn't bother sending them an update.

(Went through a tax increase in October).

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Harborfields wrote:

Does any of the information that's already been sent to your 2014 reservations (e.g. confirmation letter, etc...) tell them what their outstanding balance is (was)? If so, then I think it would be a common courtesy to send them an updated confirmation statement, reflecting the tax that will be in effect for their stay.  

If your reservations do not get a statement of their balance due as part of your process, then I guess I probably wouldn't bother sending them an update.

(Went through a tax increase in October).

Their confirmation letter has the breakdown and outstanding balance

OnTheShore's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/28/2011

So I would send them an updated statement ....

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

I would be surprised if anyone changes their plans for a room tax.  People don't like it, but they pay it.   Or maybe we are more used to it.  ??

__________________

TBH

 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.