Travel Tech


Iowa Legislature Proposing New Vacation Tax on Iowans

Travel Tech on May 03, 2018


May 3, 2018


Contact: Mike Reynard





Iowa Legislature Proposing New Vacation Tax on Iowans  


Des Moines, IA – The omnibus tax deal currently being negotiated behind closed doors by Iowa legislators on HF 2489 and SF 2417 raises taxes on Iowan's summer vacations. The proposal includes an onerous provision that would impose new taxes on travel agent service fees, both online and in Iowa. These new taxes will be passed-on to Iowans in the form of higher costs for accommodations when they book hotels with their favorite online travel agent or via the hundreds of Iowa travel agents, wedding and event planners. Under this new tax, Iowans traveling within the state would pay more for hotel rooms. The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) today called on Iowa legislators to remove the new travel agent tax from the budget bill.


“This new tax on travel agent service fees is a new tax on Iowans’ vacations, in addition to the new tax burden on Iowa’s travel agents, wedding planners, event and meeting planners. Raising the costs of travel for Iowans will have the opposite intended effect of raising revenue,” said Travel Tech President Steve Shur. “Leisure travelers, shopping for hotels on online travel sites are price sensitive and these new taxes can be the difference between whether a family travels or not, or is forced to shorten their stay due to higher costs as a result of these new taxes.”


“Whether booking through an online travel agent or an Iowa travel agent, these new taxes will cost you more,” Shur continued. “A new tax on travel agents means Iowans will pay more for their vacations and Iowa’s economy will suffer as a result. Sneaking this ‘vacation tax’ into the tax bill without a full and transparent debate is short sighted. The way to generate revenue from the travel and tourism economy is to stimulate more travel, not tax it. The legislature should reject this new tax on behalf of its own citizens and the many businesses that benefit from travelers and tourists throughout the state.”







The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) is the premier trade association for the travel technology industry, representing the leading online travel companies, travel technology solutions providers (GDSs), and short-term rental companies. These technology innovators have directly and indirectly created the infrastructure and the marketplace that travelers, suppliers, and intermediaries benefit from today. Travel Tech members have transformed the way we travel, providing suppliers and consumers with invaluable access to options while purchasing and managing their travel.