This commentary originally appeared at the Austin American-Stateman on August 18, 2015.
Like many Austin residents, I’ve only lived in Texas for a few years. My family has yet to acquire that same good sense, and so remain frustratingly far away. The days that they come to visit are when I’m at my happiest. I’m surrounded by the eccentric culture that makes Austin such a fun city, but I’m also reconnected to those who mean the most.
High hotel occupancy taxes can put a crimp on these anticipated reunions, however. Austin hotel guests pay an additional 15 percent when state and city taxes are combined. That extra expense is often enough to cut a visit short or, at the very least, divert the money that I otherwise would spend showing off the local highlights.
Hunker is a policy analyst with the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Twitter: @KathleenHunker.