Room Tax: Short Term Lodging Rentals

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A room tax is assessed by the City of Wauwatosa under state law that authorizes municipalities to collect a room tax. City ordinance authorizes the collection and enforcement of a room tax.

The room tax is 7 % of gross receipts of the renting of a sleeping room at a hotel, motel, inn and residential dwelling lodging, and other short-term lodging rentals such as Airbnb, Home Away and VRBO.

While there is already a formal system in place for hotels and motels to pay their taxes to the City, property owners operating short term rentals must pay their taxes directly to the City.

If the listing does not indicate that a room tax is assessed, the stay is still subject to a room tax. Best practice for hosts is to include the room tax in the listing so the lodger is aware of the tax.

The room tax revenue funds tourism development, marketing and promotion, which is utilized by the very guests paying the tax. Room tax proceeds are used by the Wauwatosa Tourism Commission to do a lot of fun things in and around the city, including the installation of six of the new murals on North Avenue.

Voline Mural in Progress



To the left is a mural-in-progress at the Voline station.








Room tax is collected from the lodger in addition to sales tax and is paid directly to the city by the property owner; the lodging  marketplace is not responsible for  collecting the tax.  Room tax payments  to the city are due on the 20th day of the subsequent month when room revenue is received. Payments made after that date are subject to a $10.00 per day penalty, plus interest rate of 12% per year in accordance with Wauwatosa Municipal Code sec. 3.16.040. 

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