A study by STR’s Consulting & Analytics team shows that the total property tax expense for U.S. hotels exceeds a potential $8.1 billion.
The study, which used 2016 HOST (Hotel Operating Statistics) data, found that roughly 36 percent of all hotel property tax expense resides in 15 counties. While 611 counties comprised STR’s HOST data, the report studied only those with a sufficient reporting sample.
“Each county assesses and taxes differently when it comes to real and personal property for hotels,” said Raquel Ortiz, STR’s senior analytics manager. “But overall, we found that the median property tax expense for U.S. hotels is 3.7 percent of total revenue with a much higher expense percentage for limited-service properties (4.2 percent) than full-service hotels (3.3 percent).”
When looking specifically at the 10 largest counties by hotel room inventory, New York County (9.4 percent) showed the highest property tax percentage of total revenue. Harris County, Texas (5.8 percent), and Cook County, Illinois (5.6 percent), ranked second and third, respectively.
Total tax expense, ratio-to-sales, by top 10 largest counties
New York County ($11,091 per room) also represented the highest total property tax on a per-available-room basis, followed by Cook County ($4,368 per room) and San Diego County ($2,842 per room).