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Long-term hotel stays can mean loss of hotel/motel taxes

By ALLISON MILES
Dec. 10, 2011 at 6:10 a.m.
Updated Dec. 11, 2011 at 6:11 a.m.


Increased demand has more people searching out Crossroads lodging, but that doesn't necessarily mean an increase in hotel/motel taxes.

Those who book a room for more than 30 days are considered residents by state law and become tax exempt, according to the Texas comptroller's office website.

The law eats into some income for Victoria, but doesn't make a large impact, said LaRue Roth, manager of the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Overall, Victoria hotel receipts hit $7.95 million in 2011's third quarter, according to data from the comptroller's office. Of that, the taxable receipts came in at $7.08 million.

"There is about $900,000, but when you look at the big picture, it's not hurting us," Roth said, noting receipts are still well above previous years.

Certain businesses and some state and government officials do not pay taxes during travel, Roth added, which also factors into those numbers.

Other communities, such as Alice, have found ways around the exemption, said Mona Faust, executive director of the Goliad Chamber of Commerce.

She said hotels offer 29-day bookings, which automatically rebook. That way, the city keeps that income.

Faust said Goliad has felt some effects from those exemptions because hotel/motel taxes help fund tourist brochures, travel shows and other ways communities get their names out there.

Regardless, they're making due.

She said the chamber utilizes the Internet more and obtains sponsorships for things that normally would have been funded by taxes.

"You have to keep your presence out there," she said. "If you don't keep your presence, you will lose your ground. And it will take you twice as much money and time to get back to where you were."

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