Local tax

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Spa card Wiesbaden 1875

The local tax or local tax (also: tourist tax , local tax , lodging tax , Nächtigungtaxe , local tax or spa tax ) is a form of tourism - and tourist tax. This is a state or local tax that is generally levied at the community level per person and paid overnight stay in a community area.

The payment of a visitor's tax was already common in 1507 in Baden-Baden , which had bathing rights (thermal springs) since 1306. In Austria, the existence of such taxes can be proven from 1842 in the health resort Bad Ischl . With the advent of tourism in the second half of the 19th century, such overnight taxes became common in many places and contributed significantly to the financing and prosperity of the tourist resorts.

Definition of terms

A local or visitor's tax is a form of accommodation tax , whereby in Austria, visitor's taxes may only be levied in specially defined health resorts. This indirectly compensates for the provision of the tourist infrastructure, i.e. those advantages that the foreigner receives through the stay. The interested parties' contributions are to be distinguished from this. These are levies that are customary in Austria and that local companies - graded according to the benefit they derive from tourism - have to pay to the municipality or the respective tourism associations.

A distinction is to be made between the local tax and the hotel tax: the latter is the colloquial term for the sales tax levied in Germany on the accommodation charge. Since January 1, 2010, this is no longer charged for overnight stays at the full, but only at the reduced tax rate. Although this was exactly what the CSU , FDP and the Left had demanded in the 2009 Bundestag election campaign , this tax rate cut met with disapproval from many municipalities. As a result, various municipalities introduced a municipal fee (bed tax).

Purpose and execution

The local tax is levied on non-residents, i.e. generally for every person who is not resident in the municipality, i.e. has no main or permanent residence there. The local tax can still be levied on owners of second homes ( holiday apartments or holiday homes), for caravan sites , campsites and other non-hotel business , in seaside areas also on docks . In Austria, some federal states have their own second home tax that tries to compensate for the special costs caused by second homes (e.g. large, rarely used canal and road network).

The local tax plays a major role in German tourism regions, where it makes a significant contribution to the municipal budget and serves to finance the tourism infrastructure . They generally forms along with the compulsory charges on tourism involved the financing of the local tourist organization, in varying proportions: Grindelwald Tourism approximately financed to 87% from the tax (2007), Salzburg half (2005), for the Tirol Tourist Board does, however, the Local tax only about 30% off.

The local tax is either paid by the apartment owner (i.e. the landlord or accommodation provider in the hotel industry ) to the municipality, or has to be paid by the guest himself - it is usually associated with the registration ( obligation of the traveler to register), in the accommodation establishment or with the locally responsible registration authority , for example at the tourist office , when purchasing the tourist card or when submitting the port tariff .

The local taxes are regulated in the relevant tourism or municipal tax laws, but the amount is usually determined by the municipalities in cooperation with the local tourism associations and other interest groups (in Austria, for example, local groups are formed that depend on the tourism intensity in the area, the tax is split between the municipality and the tourism association, in some cases also between the regional tourism organization). A graduation of the amount according to season , and discounts or exemptions for children and young people, and also for other financially weaker groups, are common.

The local tax as a spatial planning instrument

Since the free movement of people in the European Union must not hinder the movement of foreign nationals, attempts are being made to control the cold bed problem (local prevalence of secondary residences) in the Alpine region through taxes. In addition to the local tax, which is usually taxed on the overnight stay of a non-resident person, attempts are being made in Austria to at least partially compensate for the costs of the municipalities through a second home tax.

In Velden am Wörther See , Carinthia, for example , the visitor's tax per day and night, depending on the season and zone, is EUR 0.58 to EUR 1.31, the flat-rate local tax that the second home owner has to pay is up to 60 m² per 100 for living space Overnight stays calculated 94 euros / year, 60–100 m² calculated on 150 overnight stays 142 Euros / year, over 100 m² calculated on 200 overnight stays 188 euros / year.

The collection of the local tax

Collection of local tax / visitor's tax in Bad Münstereifel, 2015. The carbon copy shown here is the spa card , the original is the registration form that was retained by the issuing company

The local tax is usually levied by the accommodation provider together with the accommodation costs and shown separately on the invoice. The accommodation company collects the visitor's tax on behalf of the municipality from outside overnight guests and then passes it on to the municipality. Often the severely disabled, their accompanying persons and business travelers are exempt from the visitor's tax.

Each municipality that levies local tax stipulates the amount, seasonal rates and exempt groups of people in its statutes. The application and use of the visitor's tax are therefore unequivocally and bindingly determined. To collect the visitor's tax, so-called registration forms are used for the visitor's tax. These registration forms are filled out by the guest upon arrival at the accommodation facility with the personal data, information relevant to billing as well as arrival and departure dates. In addition to the conventional paper form, electronic registration form procedures are also increasingly being used, which take the required information directly from the hotel software and transmit it to the community for billing. The use of this electronic registration form is legally not unequivocally clarified. Nevertheless, the use by the authorities is tolerated. The usual type of data collection, however, is the official registration form, which is either recorded by the municipality for billing or read out using a document scanner and brought to billing.

Examples of local / visitor taxes

Country / Region Tax per person and day / night
AustriaAustria Austria : Burgenland 1.50 euros
AustriaAustria Austria : Vienna 2.8% of the accommodation fee
AustriaAustria Austria : Salzburger Land 1.10 euros
AustriaAustria Austria : Tyrol 0.55 - 3.00 euros
CroatiaCroatia Croatia 2.00 - 7.00 kn (approx. 0.30 - 1.00 euros)
GermanyGermany Germany : Baden-Baden 1.40 / 3.20 euros
GermanyGermany Germany : Hamburg from EUR 0.50
GermanyGermany Germany : Dresden from 1.00 euro
GermanyGermany Germany : Frankfurt am Main 2.00 euros
GermanyGermany Germany : Wangerooge 1.20 euros - 3.70 euros
SpainSpain Spain : Barcelona 0.65 euros - 2.25 euros


In most of the cantons of Switzerland, an accommodation tax / visitor's tax is levied for overnight stays in holiday apartments , chalets , holiday homes and hotels . Only the cantons of ZH and TG do not have any such taxes. In the cantons of Solothurn, Graubünden and Aargau, the law allows the municipalities (Aargau: only municipalities with spa establishments) to levy such a fee, but does not oblige them to do so. The purchase is usually made by the local tourist office, but sometimes also by the municipality.

In most cantons, the tax is levied on all persons who spend the night for a fee and who do not have their place of residence in the respective municipality. In other cantons, taxes are levied on all overnight stays in commercial accommodation establishments (e.g. Basel-Landschaft) or at a flat rate from establishments in the hospitality industry (e.g. Obwalden / Nidwalden).

In some cantons, a distinction is made between the visitor's tax, which is to be paid by the guest, and the accommodation tax, which is to be paid by the landlord. In most cases, the income from the visitor's tax benefits the guests in full (reduced entry to swimming pools, reduced prices for mini golf , etc.). The accommodation tax, on the other hand, is used to finance the advertising of the respective area and the maintenance and expansion of the infrastructure. The accommodation tax is paid by the operator of the property, it is usually already included in the accommodation costs. The operator is free to show these costs separately, but this usually does not happen.

The taxes vary from canton to canton and in the canton of Berne, for example, amount to CHF 4.00 per person and night, plus CHF 0.60 accommodation tax.

In the canton of Thurgau, those companies that are affiliated with the private branch organization Thurgau Tourismus have been charging a "tourism fee " of CHF 1.50 for people aged 18 and over since May 1, 2014. However, this is not a statutory charge.


  • Since November 1, 2010, the city of Dortmund , and since January 1, 2014, also the city of Berlin , has levied a "hotel tax". It amounts to 7.5% of the overnight accommodation fee (Berlin 5%) and must be paid by the overnight guest in the hotel. Business trips are exempt from hotel tax on presentation of a certificate from the employer.
  • Since January 1, 2011, the so-called "City Tax" has been levied in Erfurt .
  • The city of Cologne's culture tax has only been levied since January 1, 2013 for private overnight stays.
  • In Bremen , a city tax has only been levied for private overnight stays since January 1, 2013 (Law Gazette of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen of December 21, 2012, No. 22, p. 554).
  • From 2019, 3 euros must be paid in Leipzig

See also


  • Paul Tschurtschenthaler: Tourism organizations at local / regional level in the field of tension between diverging interests . In: Roman Egger, Thomas Herdin (eds.): Tourism in the field of tension between polarities (=  scientific series of the FHS research association . Volume 2 ). LIT Verlag, Münster 2010, ISBN 978-3-643-50159-2 , p. 157–160 ( limited preview in Google Book Search - especially 4. Financing of tourism organizations ).
  • Walter Freyer: Tourism: Introduction to tourism economics (=  textbooks and handbooks on tourism, transport and leisure ). 9th edition. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, Munich / Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-57874-4 (on the subject in general).
  • Robert Hammerl: Systematics of Austrian tourism taxes and their financial constitutional basis (=  master thesis at the Vienna University of Economics and Business ). Vienna 2012 (work deals with tourism taxes and their structure in Austria).
  • Alois Brusatti: 100 years of Austrian tourism, historical development 1884 - 1984 . tape 2 , 1984, 100 years of tourism in Austria .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. R. Hammerl: Systematics of Austrian tourism taxes and their financial constitutional basis . 2012, p. 25th ff .
  2. ^ A. Brusatti: 100 years of Austrian tourism . 1984, p. 21 .
  3. R. Hammerl: Systematics of Austrian tourism taxes and their financial constitutional basis . 2012, p. 34 .
  4. R. Hammerl: Systematics of Austrian tourism taxes and their financial constitutional basis . 2012, p. 22 .
  5. R. Hammerl: Systematics of Austrian tourism taxes and their financial constitutional basis . 2012, p. 37 ff .
  6. ^ A b R. Hammerl: Systematics of the Austrian tourism taxes and their financial constitutional basis . 2012, p. 79 ff .
  7. ^ P. Tschurtschenthaler: Tourism organizations at the local / regional level . 2010, p. 157 .
  8. ^ P. Tschurtschenthaler: Tourism organizations at the local / regional level . 2010, p. 160 .
  9. ^ P. Tschurtschenthaler: Tourism organizations at the local / regional level . 2010, p. 159 .
  10. Velden am Wörthersee - regulation .
  11. has been increased from 0.90 euros to 1.50 euros. Local tourist tax will be increased . burgenland.orf.at, March 15, 2011.
  12. Assessment base without sales tax, service charge, etc. . ä Vienna Tax - Heizzuschlag. Vienna Tourism Promotion Act ( Memento of the original dated December 23, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / portal.wko.at archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Vienna Chamber of Commerce, December 28, 2009.
  13. the general local tax according to the law of 13 May 1992 on the collection of local taxes in the State of Salzburg ( Local Tax Act 1992) LGBL.Nr.62/1992 in favor of the tourism associations with 96%, in addition, a special local tax is charged, which also benefits the state . Local tax ( Memento of the original dated August 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.salzburg.gv.at archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . salzburg.gv.at; is to be increased to 2 euros, which would give an additional budget of around 10 million euros per year at the municipal level. Dispute over local tax . hotel-gv-praxis.at, February 1, 2011;
  14. depending on the tourism association and municipality (selection): lowest price Silberregion Karwendel (0.55 euros); highest in the Ötztal and Ischgl / Paznaun tourism regions (3.00 euros), and Seefeld in Tirol (2.80 euros); increased tax for leisure residence; In the tourist regions of St. Anton am Arlberg, Paznaun, Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, different taxes in summer and winter season. All No. 1776–1785 Ordinance [s] of the state government of December 21, 2004 on the determination of the residence tax […] . Bote für Tirol item 53 / 185th year / 2004 (pdf, tirol.gv.at); Tannheimertal according to tourism professionals tax themselves. ( Memento from February 4, 2013 in the web archive archive.today ) tt.com, August 9, 2011. Legal basis according to the Tyrolean Residence Tax Act 2003, LGBl. No. 85
  15. Local tax , kroatien-lexikon.de, January 10, 2007.
  16. Kurzone II / I, there from January 1, 2013 EUR 3.50 § 3 Statute on the collection of a visitor's tax (visitor's tax regulation) (pdf, baden-baden.de); According to § 4 Municipal Code for Baden-Württemberg (GemO) and § 2 , § 8 Paragraph 2 and § 43 Municipal Tax Act (KAG) - ( visitor's tax )
  17. Hamburg: Culture and Tourism Tax
  18. State capital Dresden: Accommodation tax
  19. ^ Frankfurt am Main: tourism contribution
  20. Guest contribution on the North Sea island - Wangerooge. Retrieved January 14, 2020 .
  21. Information on the city's website , accessed on August 30, 2019