Frequently Asked Questions about the Lodging Tax
What is the lodging tax?
The lodging tax is a tax paid on short term/overnight stays at lodging properties including hotels, campgrounds (not National Forest campgrounds), cabins, guest ranches and bed & breakfasts in Albany County.
Is this a new tax?
The lodging tax was first approved by Albany County voters in 1989 and has been renewed numerous times since. The Lodging tax is placed on the General Election Ballot every four years and will be up for renewal again on the November 5, 2018 ballot.
Who pays the lodging tax?
The tax is paid by visitors who stay in Albany County lodging establishments for less than 30 consecutive days. Albany County residents do not pay the tax unless they stay in one of our lodging properties.
What are the funds used for?
The Albany County Tourism Board/Laramie Area Visitor Center uses the funds to develop tourism by purchasing advertising, developing and producing brochures and rack cards, pursuing conventions, conferences and meetings, maintaining two visitor centers in Laramie and at the Summit, awarding grants to support events such as Jubilee Days and the Wyoming High School Football Championships, funding support for community groups including the Laramie Main Street Alliance, the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Laramie Plains Museum, Laramie Depot Board and the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site.
Why do we need the lodging tax?
Competition for the tourism dollar is fierce. Communities throughout Wyoming, Colorado and the United States use similar lodging taxes and are promoting themselves very aggressively. Without the lodging tax, we would have no unified effort to compete for these tourist dollars.
What are the benefits of the travel industry?
Travel is an economic engine in Albany County and Laramie. Travelers spent $158.3 million in Albany County in 2017, up 7.4% over 2016. This spending takes place throughout the county at all types of businesses. The 1,640 jobs supported by the hospitality industry here represents 7% of Albany County’s total private industry employment. . Travelers pay 16.7% of all of our local sales taxes collected in the county.
How does our tax rate stack up vs. others in the area?
Our combined tax rate of 10 % at lodging establishments (6% sales taxes + 4% Lodging tax) is competitive with surrounding areas. Nearby cities like Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Sidney, Casper, and Denver have combined tax rates ranging from 9% to over 18%.
Is the tax working?
YES. With the help of the lodging tax, Albany County visitor spending has grown 2.7% over the past 10 years and employment generated by travel spending has remained steady. . Just since 2005, lodging tax collections have increased by a whopping 125% showing that promotions directed by the Albany County Tourism Board have solidly contributed to this growth rate. Travelers pay 16.7% of our local taxes supporting our schools, roads, and other governmental services. In fact, without travelers’ taxes, each Albany County household would pay an additional $561 in taxes to maintain existing levels of government services. Travelers support recreational and retail opportunities that area residents enjoy. Good examples include the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, The Laramie Plains Museum/Ivinson Mansion and the University of Wyoming Conference Center.
The Albany County lodging tax is a tax that you and I don’t pay-yet we all benefit from it. The travel industry supports the Albany County economy and its tax base, helping to keep our personal taxes low.
*Please refer to 2018 Dean Runyan Associates-Wyoming Travel Impacts for many of the figures shown in this document.