Staying 30+ Nights In A Hotel? You Might Not Have To Pay The Taxes.

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Ever since COVID-19 hit, our 5 year, 50 state road trip plans have ground to a virtual halt. Since mid-March, we’ve gone from moving every 5-7 days to staying 4-6 weeks at a time in the same place.

Much of that time has been spent in Airbnbs, but we started the lockdown in March with a 4 week stay in a Candlewood Suites and recently finished up a 33 night stay at a Residence Inn on the outskirts of Cincinnati. Both of these brands include a full kitchen in every suite and we’d booked a 1 bedroom suite in both places to have more space.

I’d booked that latter stay because Marriott was charging a decent rate ($79 per night before taxes) due to the length of stay, but after booking it I realized that we might be able to save even more. That’s because some states exempt you from paying taxes on hotel stays when staying 30+ nights consecutively at the same property.

Residence Inn by Marriott

I became aware of this policy a couple of years ago because Texas is one of the states that doesn’t charge tax when staying 30+ nights. We weren’t able to take advantage of that at the time because even though we spent 10 weeks in Texas, we didn’t spend longer than 2 weeks in the same location. A lot of that time was spent in Hyatt Places because there are loads of category 1 properties in Texas which meant they only cost 5,000 points per night, or we were able to get low paid rates.

Fast forward to this year. We were due to spend all year out west, with my parents flying in from the UK in March to join us on the road trip for 7 weeks so we could hit up all of Utah’s National Parks, the Grand Canyon, some of Colorado and more. We decided to cancel their trip literally hours before a travel ban went into place that would’ve prevented them from flying over anyway.

We subsequently decided to head back east for the rest of this year so that we can be closer to my wife’s family. There’s no great hurry though, so we’ve tended to stay a month or more in each place to semi-shelter in place and not have to regularly check in and out of hotels and Airbnbs.

We picked a month-long stay in Cincinnati on the way through because we have good friends who live there that we try to see every year or two, plus it’s home to Skyline Chili which we need in our lives just as frequently. I know you can get Skyline Chili in a can or as a frozen meal from Kroger stores around the country, but it’s not the same.

Coneys from Skyline Chili
Coneys from Skyline Chili

As I mentioned earlier, we booked a stay at a Residence Inn which cost $79 per night. The taxes added almost $10 per night to that cost:

  • State Occupancy Tax @ 6.5% = $5.14 per night
  • County Tax @ 3% = $2.37 per night
  • City Tax @ 3% = $2.37 per night
  • Total = $9.88 per night

At $9.88 per night, that meant we were due to pay a total of $326.04 in taxes seeing as we were staying 33 nights. It was after booking the stay that I realized we might not have to pay that amount after all due to some states not charging taxes on stays of 30+ nights.

I therefore did a search online and most of Google’s search results focused on the policy in Texas. For example, per this site:

When does a guest qualify for the permanent resident exemption?

If in advance or upon check-in, the guest provides written notice of intent to occupy a guest room for 30 days or longer, no tax will be due for any part of the guest’s stay if the guest stays for more than 30 days. A signed registration card indicating a guest’s intent to occupy a room for 30 days or longer is sufficient evidence. A written reservation or confirmation of a reservation that indicates the stay will be more than 30 days is also sufficient notice.

In addition, a hotel is permitted to honor the 30-day permanent resident exemption even in cities with a 30-day check out requirement if the guest immediately checks back in so that the stay remains continuous to meet state law requirements.

As a side note, that latter exemption could also be useful because some hotel chains don’t award points on stays of more than 30 days. You could therefore book at least two or more consecutive stays that don’t exceed 30 days and be eligible for earning points while still being exempt from paying hotel taxes.

That didn’t help me with our stay in Cincinnati though because Porkopolis obviously isn’t in Texas. I therefore adjusted my search to include ‘Ohio’ and the results were a little more pertinent, but not definitively. The top search result was this PDF for an Embassy Suites which confirmed that when staying at their property for 30+ nights we wouldn’t have to pay taxes, but that property was in Columbus rather than Cincinnati. A PDF for Montgomery County stated something similar, as did a document from 2014 for Hamilton County.

Our Residence Inn was in West Chester though which is located in Butler County. I didn’t find anything specifically for that location or anything that was valid statewide in Ohio, so I figured my best option was to ask the hotel directly.

We’ve been trying to reduce our face-to-face contact with people over the last few months (not too hard for me as an introvert), so I sent a message late one night to the property through the Marriott app asking if the taxes would be waived. They replied the next day confirming that they would be, so that was great news.

It wasn’t quite that easy though. Despite booking our stay as one 33 night chunk, the Residence Inn took payment for our stay week by week. When checking our bill, the taxes were all still on there.

Room rate & taxes

That meant contacting the front desk again. They confirmed that we were still exempt from paying tax, but that we’d need to stop by the front desk once we’d actually stayed 30 days. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just set a reminder for themselves to process the refund rather than needing me to remind them in person, but for more than $325 it was something I was willing to do.

On day 31 of our stay, I therefore stopped by the front desk to remind them about the tax being waived and was assured it would be done. In the early hours of the morning that we were due to check out, I received an email from the Residence Inn containing our final bill which still showed the tax being charged for the entire stay.

That meant another trip to the front desk, but because it was 3am there wasn’t anything they could do, but they assured me that their General Manager would be arriving in a few hours and they’d sort out the taxes. Thankfully that seemed to do the trick because when checking out later that morning, the taxes had indeed been removed.

The line items were a little confusing though. It initially looked like they’d only refunded taxes for 30 nights of our 33 night stay, but upon closer inspection I realized the taxes hadn’t actually been charged for days 31-33, so everything was correct.

Room rate & taxes refunded

That means we saved a total of $326.04 in taxes on our stay, but it got better than that. Knowing back in May that we had this stay coming up, I took advantage of the 20% discount Marriott offered when buying their gift cards. I paid for our stay using these gift cards, so that saved us an extra $521.40.

As a result, our stay which should’ve cost $2,933.04 only cost us $2,085.60, or $63.20 per night – not bad for a 1 bedroom suite with a full kitchen.

Summary

In some states (such as Texas and Ohio), you can have your taxes waived when staying 30+ consecutive nights at the same property on a paid stay. This means your savings will usually be $300 or more (assuming taxes of at least $10 per night), so it’s definitely something worth exploring if you’ll be booking an extended stay somewhere in the US.

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Tommi webb

Also when I went to the front desk they told me that this is not a permanent resident that people don’t live here but I’ve been here for 6 months my neighbor they’ve been here for 4 months and the other girl that has kids here she’s been here longer than me she’s been here almost a year but he says that he’s not that kind of hotel I also have that letter that says assignment of right to refund and they refuse to sign it so what are my options and what can I do I’m in Texas

Tommi webb

I’ve been staying at Rose City hotel for 6 months now they refuse to tax accept me I finally got the letter that says assignment right of refunds the front desk will not sign it what can I do

Sandra

I been stay a year paying everyday s9metime skip a day because the taxes are hard to pay.Dose this still count for me in Texas

Matthew

Stephen, did elite night credits post okay for 30+ stays?

Andrea

I have lived in a motel for over a year…can I request the taxes back?? I mean dang I had no idea…should I wait until I have somewhere to live??

Andrea

Also the manager and the owner are one in the same…

Jordan

Hi Stephen! Im a little late to the discussion but hope you might be able to shed some light for me?! My fiance and I, phoenix residents, intended on staying short term while apartment searching in Marriott hotels in our area… due to my marriott membership, more perks… originally we stayed 30 days at a courtyard, completely unaware that AZ honors the tax exemption u speak of…. this is where the question comes in… so we originally booked that stay for 2 weeks, extending either a day or to to up to a week at a time until the stay turned into a full 30 days by mid september ( no tax credit was mentioned. After such we did a similar scenario stint at a towne place suites starting september 20th, learned of a reduced rate by staying monthly so october 5th we confirmed we would be staying until the end of october. Well when tbe 31st rolled around we told them our check out date is TBH so just put us down till Nov 30… as of December 10th we are still here. I have not approached the management about the tax bc basically, shes a “Karen” and i want to make sure i dont get bulldozed by her by knowing my facts. So basically where my situation gets sticky is for out least 1 of the 3+ months stayed at the combined 2 hotels, with neither I never confirmed that i would be staying a full 30 days, but with the courtyard we stayed a full month and towneplace so far just 10 days shy of 3 months. What are your thoughts on this situation? Is it even possible to get any of the taxes back? Can you tell me the best way to go about it, if so?
Thanks in advance!

Ashley

How do I dob this if the hotel denies any knowledge and says no im in sharonville ohio

Gaurav

Stephen–to clarify–were you saying that doing consecutive reservations allows you to get around the points earning cap for a hotel? Usually hotels will treat consecutive nights as one stay irrespective of check out and check in for promos in my experience.

OR97

Oregon appears to be exempt from taxes after 30 days:

“Lodgers exempt from the state lodging tax include:

  • Those who spend 30 or more consecutive days at the same facility.
  • Federal employees on federal business”

https://www.oregon.gov/DOR/programs/businesses/Pages/lodging.aspx#:~:text=The%202016%20Legislature%20passed%20House,rate%20decreases%20to%201.5%20percent.

Sydney Morrell

Great article Stephen, as well as the recent one on extended stay brands. Do you know whether this tax benefit also applies to extended stays with AirbnB? My husband is going to need somewhere to stay for 3 months in NJ and we are trying to figure out the best options. So fas AirBnB and VRBO are offering the best options.

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M Lee

Any tax exemptions in Canada provinces?

Lindsey J
  1. what’s a good resource to find out whether a hotel will award points for stays over 30 days?
  2. Is it safe to assume that tax waiver isn’t automatic? It wouldn’t show up on the website search, or be automatically applied at the hotel unless you bring it up?
Joseph N.

I’ve done this more than once in the IHG system, Candlewoods and Staybridges. With the IHG reservations system, the tax credit is in fact automatically applied after 30 days, but of course it must be one reservation exceeding 30 days. Guests often make a new reservation when they see a cheaper rate, and then they cannot get the taxes back.

mangoMan

In Nevada, Washoe County (Reno, N. Lake Tahoe) the 13% tax is waived after 28 days.

Tu Phat

See table at link below summarizing state occupancy taxes and exemptions.

https://www.avalara.com/mylodgetax/en/resources/state-lodging-tax-requirements.html

[…] Staying 30+ Nights In A Hotel? You Might Not Have To Pay The Taxes. by Frequent Miler. […]

CaveDweller

After 30 nites hit the ICU it’s Tax Free too.
#stayincave

[…] the taxes on our stays waived (that’s something some states offer, including Ohio – see this post I wrote over on Frequent Miler for a little more about how that works). I contacted the hotel one […]

dreamdew
Satforlegroom

There’s a flip side to this. Once you spend 30 consecutive nights in a jurisdiction and paying ‘rent’ you may be considered a resident which has income tax implications for a state like Ohio. So watch what you file.

rich

I don’t envy you right now. I’d prefer a real home as opposed to moving around but that is me.

Back in 2001 I spent an extended time in a hotel. Probably 6 months and after 30 days (consecutive) they would give me a huge discount on the daily rate. It was large enough that even when I flew home for a long weekend it made sense not to check out. I’m thinking in those days it was $100+ per night and then it would drop to $60 per night ($1800 per month).

They also treated me well with room delivered muffins and stuff.

I thought most places give you similar discounts on extended stays.

Ssss

Great article. Maybe readers can help you create the chart by sending links to the various state rules they know?

Sambam

Don’t know about the rest of California but here in San Francisco it’s 30 days as well. After 30 days no hotel tax.

Joseph N.

I’m a few days late to the party, but let me shed some light on Calif’s rules.

In California (maddeningly!) it is left up to each jurisdiction to decide whether to charge taxes on the first 30 days. In some jurisdictions if you stay more than 30 days on one reservation you are exempt from the tax, but in other jurisdictions if you stay more than 30 days you are only exempt from taxes charged _after_ the first 30 days.

For example I did this in Palm Springs and asked a lot of questions to be sure i got it right. In Palm Springs stays of more than 30 days are exempt from the hotel tax, but beyond the city limit in unincorporated Riverside County, stays over 30 days still have to pay the hotel tax on the first 30 days.

Ken

My wife and I travel full time too, but we also do pet sits to help lower costs. Unfortunately, thanks to Covid those opportunities have all but dried up. Both of us have been unemployed for nearly 2 years now. Do you also work full time to help pay for expensive hotel stays? Feel free to shoot me an email to chat.

Ken

My wife used to be a public school teacher before we hit the road so she’s looking into Outschool right now. Would your wife be interested in talking to my wife about it if she has some questions about it?

Have you ever thought about pet sitting? You can get some extended sits in some great areas with minimal work with their pets, plus the only cost is a yearly membership. It has saved us a lot on housing and we’ve been all over the world. Goes well with points for flights and hotels between sits. And you’re in actual houses instead of hotels. Many of them are Ok with you bringing your own pet along too.

Ken

Will do, thanks!

Yeah, I can see how that would be a problem. Our last sit was for 2 weeks in Carlsbad, CA that turned into over 3 months thanks to Covid. One of our favorites. Currently in Austin and have a month in FL already booked. Stupid Covid has eliminated so many opportunities during prime summer vacation time.

Joe Schmo

Nice article, Stephen! I hadn’t thought about this and I’m about to embark on a couple months of hotel living. I did a quick search and it looks like the tax waiver doesn’t kick for until 90 days in NJ per this website: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/pubs/sales/su13.pdf

Compiling this info for all 50 states would make for a nice new resource page!

CincyWorldTraveler

No cheese on that Skyline coney?!?!?!? Heresy! (On the positive side, at least you did not go to Goldstar. 🙂 )

CincyWorldTraveler

Empress Chili in Alexandria, KY (on US27 off I-275) is the creator of Cincinnati-style chili. The original location was in downtown Cincinnati but is no longer there. Dixie Chili is the 2nd, founded by a former Empress employee (there is a Dixie location in Erlanger, KY about a mile east of I-75 on Dixie Highway). They are both good, but Skyline is my favorite, perhaps because it was the first one that I tried almost 30 years ago when I moved here and that location in Clifton has classic chili parlor ambience.

Elizabeth Cooper

Hello, LOVE your article. I really need some help calculating my room charge per day I currently live at the InTown suites in Fairfield Ohio. I checked in October 20, 2020. I booked a queen sofa room at $45.01 a night. I’m in a room that does not have a sofa, and is called a queen accessible room. This room goes for $40.59 a night. I’m having trouble trying to calculate how much of a credit I have, because my payment is due Saturday and I’m a little short on cash. Sales tax here in Butler County is 6.75%. is there any possible way you could help me out? I just want to have the correct information of the credit I am due. I believe they are more or less ripping people off because they’re not educated on hotel taxes and laws. I am here because I was domestic violence situation. I did was supposed to do. I filed a police report, he has a warrant. I also went to court and was granted a protection order for five years. But like I told the Magistrate, when he’s coming at me, all I have to do is hold up this piece of paper and that’s going to stop him from attacking me? Basically that piece of paper is only good if they would find my body so to speak. His actions in the past concur with what he would do if he finds me. I had to take drastic measures. I had a sell my car to move in here. I take a lift to work. It is very expensive here. I can’t save for a car. and the hotel was just trying to make as much money as they can they’re not concerned about my well-being. So please if you could help me calculate this out and have it where I can print it out or write it out, so I am able to save money and move into an apartment. I’m 53 years old I’m new spring chicken and I wait tables I’m a server at Outback steakhouse. I would greatly greatly appreciate your help. Your articles have helped so many people and I thank you for that.

Elizabeth Cooper

Farnorthtrader

In case it is relevant to anyone, in Florida, the tax waiver doesn’t kick in until 6 months.

Oliver

However, Florida does have some Skyline Chili locations.

Russ

And at that point you could change your residency to FL to save on income taxes.

I’ve heard the 6-mo rule is because there are SO many snowbirds who fly down for the winter.

JL100

I assume you go back and forth between paying for nights and using award nights? Did you earn a lot of points?