Houston 10th Worst Among US Cities For Travel Tax Burden

Houston's friendliness to business doesn't always extend to business travelers. The city levies heavier taxes on air passengers than do most of the nation's other top 50 destination cities. And that tax burden is set to grow.

The Global Business Travel Association conducted a study using three taxes to weigh the total burden a city imposes on travelers — lodging, rental cars, and restaurant meals. Joe Bates is the GBTA’s vice president of research.

“Houston ranks number 10 as the highest total tax burden, which is bad.”

Combined single day travel taxes for Houston – $34.16 cents. That’s set to jump to nearly $40 thanks to a hike in aviation security taxes, passed as part of the federal budget agreement. Shane Downey is the GBTA’s public policy director.

“At what point in time, then, does the business say, ‘Enough’s enough,’ and will not take that trip, will not send that person to the Houston area to try and finalize a deal?”

Among the top 50 U.S. destination cities, Chicago imposed the highest tax load on travelers. Three Florida cities — Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach — tied for the bottom rank.

Bio photo of Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...