Taxes are a part of every aspect of life, including the fun parts. Some countries and cities really hit tourists with travel taxes, but there's one travel tax in particular that's far more odious than the rest.
Taxes are a part of every aspect of life, including the fun parts. Some countries and cities really hit tourists with travel taxes, but there’s one travel tax in particular that’s far more odious than the rest.
In some U.S. cities visitors are charged extra (on top of the general sales) taxes targeting car rentals, hotel stays and meals. Clearly, these are targeted at tourists, who will be eating out more than residents and making the most use, by far, the other two services. Portland, Ore., is the worst offender, charging tourists an average of $22.45 in taxes and has no general sales tax that residents have to pay.
However, this doesn’t nearly compare to what Travel Weekly has called the travel industry’s “Most Loathsome Tax.” Britain’s Air Passenger Duty taxes anyone flying from a United Kingdom airport on a domestic flight. And this isn’t a small tax. A family of four traveling to the U.S. will pay $407, according to Travel Weekly.
Initially, the tax was created to curb carbon emissions, but at this point, the negative impact of the tax outweighs the positive.
The airlines know that this is a bad tax, too, because they commissioned a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers on the pros and cons of the tax. The outcome? The British economy is actually being hurt by the tax and would fare better without it.
And even if the U.K. isn’t your final destination, if your layover is for more than 24 hours, then you’ll be paying the tax the next day when you leave.
The worst thing about the tax, though, might be how it disproportionally hits low- and middle-income families.
The World’s Worst Travel Tax — Travel Weekly
Air Passenger Duty: How to Avoid It — The Telegraph