Is This Flat Sales Tax Really a Mandatory Resort Fee in Disguise?
The resort fee for this hotel property was purportedly as high as $5.50 and as low as $3.39 back then, which was rather confusing…
…but as I looked at whether or not this particular Rodeway Inn still charges a resort fee — which is ludicrous as it already was — this is what appeared:
The resort fee from 2010 is no longer there; but a “flat sales tax” of $2.50 appears instead in addition to the sales tax of 13 percent.
That may not be much of a big deal — after all, seeing more than one tax added to the base room rate is not at all unusual — but then, at another Rodeway Inn only four miles west on the same highway in the same city and same ZIP code…
…notice how instead of a “flat sales tax” is a resort fee of $3.00.
That had me wondering: is the “flat sales tax” of the first Rodeway Inn really a mandatory resort fee in disguise — especially as both Rodeway Inn hotel properties appear to be located in the same jurisdiction?
A logical explanation for this finding must exist — regardless of the amount of money. A mandatory resort fee is voluntarily implemented by the individual hotel or resort property; whereas a flat sales tax is typically mandated by a government entity. Disguising a mandatory resort fee as a flat sales tax is misleading at best and potentially fraudulent.
If a hotel or resort property is going to charge a mandatory resort fee — which in and of itself is already misleading, as mandatory resort fees should be a part of the base room rate and not used by the hotel or resort property in order to advertise a deceptively low room rate, in my opinion — that is currently legally within the rights of management to do so…
…but further exacerbating the deception of customers — if that is what this particular Rodeway Inn hotel property is allegedly doing — is inexcusable and unacceptable, in my opinion; and if it is proven to be true, it must be stopped.