Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Business Travel Association Rates Indianapolis as One of Worst Cities for Visitor Taxes

The Indianapolis Star reports:
Visitors pay among the highest travel taxes in the nation when they come to Indianapolis — 17 percent on hotel rates, 15 percent on rental cars and 9 percent on meals.
That adds up to an average single-day, combined travel tax of $34.91, according to the Global Business Travel Association, which ranked Indianapolis No. 8 on its list of the worst 10 cities for travel taxes. 
The rankings are based on the amount of hotel, car rental and meal taxes paid by travelers in the top 50 travel destinations in the United States. 
Although Indianapolis officials say the city is still making great gains in visitors and is competitive with its convention-city peers’ taxes, some in the hospitality industry say those taxes hurt business and are calling for them to be rolled back.
“We just keep inching up,” said John Livengood, president of the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association and president and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant Association. “If we want people to come here and spend money and help out, we are kind of shooting ourselves in the foot.”
The article goes on to quote several officials who claim that high taxes have no effect on whether people come to the City and, besides, they pay for neat things like Lucas Oil Stadium and the Convention Center. 

The study by GBTA can be found here.  The GBTA table of best and worst cities for travel are listed below.


Indy Rob said...

Anyone have any idea of the total raised in travel taxes compared to the subsidies for the stadium and field house? What percentage are going to subsidize Irsay and Simon?

Downtown Indy said...

Back when they raised those taxes, they told us it was bringing us in line with other cities and visitors would realize the value of having their conferences here.

They downplayed the speculation that we'd get knocked for the cost.


Pete Boggs said...

You don't have to travel much, to experience the difference between welcomed guest & baited prey.

Had Enough Indy? said...

The CIB budget has some of what you want, Indy Rob.

Even though they expanded the convention center, the CIB's revenues from operations actually dropped $2.5 million from 2011 (for $25M in 2013 budget).

The taxes they get a piece of - hotel, food, admissions, income within the PSDA, car rental, and cigarettes - remain flat. This suggests there hasn't been a sharp rise in tourist dollars being spent in our city, despite what they say to reporters. These taxes add up to $73.6 million for 2013.

The multi-county stadium tax will bring in $49.2 m next year, up one million from 2011, and will go straight to the state entity that actually owns LOS, where it will be used to make debt payments.

The costs of the fieldhouse are embedded in the CIB budget, and I can't tell you what that figure is. The extra $10 m that has been going to the Pacers each year, ends in 2012.

Anonymous said...

To see the positive act in Indianapolis, I think they started getting small business advisory services to see if the business they want to be into will be successful in the near future. What I don't get is the constant increase on tax. That. High.

Unknown said...

I guess indianaopolis needs some help like what those connecticut tax services providers have for groups with bad tax track records.

Anonymous said...

According to a DA from Indianapolis about tax legal advice on taxing tourists, it does help cover the deficit, but lowered taxes will sustain local tourism in the long haul.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Um - what deficit? We are talking about such a high tax increase that two taxing units are willing to split the procedes.

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Anonymous said...

Isn't it ironic that even if Business Travel Association rated Indianapolis as one of Worst Cities for Visitor Taxes, there are still tourists coming in and out of the city? Anyway, is it reasonable for that city to impose high taxes on tourists?

Sam Huffman

Anonymous said...

The city is only named for being worst on visitor taxes. I wonder if how are they when it comes to heavy vehicle taxes.

Jeffery Ferguson

Anonymous said...

If they want to improve the tourism of their country then they should do something with the visitor tax system. If ever I need to have a vacation there, I’ll make it short so I won’t suffer paying that large amount of tax.

-Gabriella Bruche

Anonymous said...

I see their point on having a huge increase in taxes for visitors because that is when they are getting the money to be used for the different funds they needed. But the question to be kept in our minds is that, if those money are really being used for their respective allocations.

Manuel Holloway

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