Room Tax Tools

Room Tax Reform overview explains the issues and proposed revisions to help grow tourism locally, in addition to the state tourism marketing helping to grow tourism statewide.

The Room Tax Primer outlines the background of room tax law in Wisconsin and provides an easy-to-understand overview of what it covers. This is a helpful tool for those in the tourism industry as well as for municipal officials considering or making decisions on room tax.

Wisconsin Room Tax Statute includes the actual formal Wisconsin statutory language relating to Room Tax

“Perpetual Funding Model” for Local Room Tax shows how, when room tax is used properly, room tax will keep re-generating revenue

Local Taxes – How Room Tax Compares compares Local Property Tax (imposed on local residents and businesses) and Local Room Tax (imposed on the guests of lodging properties) to reflect the differences more clearly

Room Tax Revenue – Examples of Proper & Improper Use assists with the many inquiries the WH&LA receives about what is the right way to expend room tax revenue and what is not. This piece provides examples of what would commonly be interpreted as Proper or Improper Use of Room Tax revenue in compliance with the state room tax statute.

Model Room Tax Ordinance, drafted by an attorney experienced in room tax law, is sample language that can be customized by a municipality when they impose or revise a local room tax ordinance. This version is designed for a municipality that is creating or has a “Tourism Commission” to oversee room tax expenditures.

The Pros and Cons of Local Room Tax: Points to Consider provides background facts on room tax, considerations on when room tax can be a positive, and when it can be a negative – all from the lodging industry perspective. WH&LA Lodging Members only (password protected)

Inn-Side Wisconsin’s Room Tax: The Lodging Perspective covers the most frequently asked questions the WH&LA receives from lodging properties on local room tax, and makes key suggestions for lodging properties to consider. WH&LA Lodging Members only (password protected)

Wisconsin Room Tax Rates is a list of all known local room tax rates in 270 municipalities in Wisconsin. The data were collected and individually verified by the WH&LA in December 2009 and January 2010. This piece is the only recently-collected list of its kind in the state. Members wishing to advise of local changes should contact the WH&LA office via e-mail, noting your name, property name, municipality and room tax rate. Changes will be verified before inclusion in the revised list. WH&LA Lodging Members only (password protected)

Clarification on Confidentiality of Room Tax Information relates to what information should be kept confidential by a municipality collecting room tax.

Room Tax Self-Audit Tool serves as a tool to more easily enable the local tourism industry and municipalities to compare the history and use of Room Tax in their area to the requirements in the state Room Tax Statute (66.0615).

Lodging Tax Primer provides a nation-wide explanation of Room Tax/Lodging Tax, how it varies around the country, what some of the primary challenges have become and some solutions that can be pursued to restore the integrity of the tax.

The pieces provided here are a public service from the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association (WH&LA) and are not intended to replace legal counsel. For questions on any of the WH&LA’s Room Tax publications, contact Trisha Pugal at 262/782-2851 or