State and Local Hotel Occupancy Taxes Waived for Hurricane Evacuees and Relief Workers
Last Friday prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas, Governor Abbott issued a proclamation suspending all laws authorizing or requiring the collection of state or local hotel occupancy taxes from the victims of Hurricane Harvey or personnel participating in relief operations for 14 days from August 23rd to September 6th. The governor’s proclamation can be read here.
No details were given in the proclamation as to how hotel operators are to determine whether hotel guests are considered to be displaced victims of the storm or personnel participating in relief operations. It is expected that hotels will be asking each hotel guest at check-in or check-out if they are either: (1) evacuating from one of the counties in Governor Abbott’s disaster proclamation; or (2) are a documented relief worker. If the guest fits into either category, the guest should fill out a hotel tax exemption certificate and should not pay any state or local hotel occupancy taxes. The hotel should document the extent to which the exemptions were provided in the hotel’s monthly or quarterly hotel tax remittance to the city.