Getting started

Every person owning, operating, managing, or controlling any hotel or collecting payment for occupancy in any hotel shall collect the Hotel Occupancy Tax from their guests for the City of Austin. The revenue derived from the Hotel Occupancy Tax is used to promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry.

A Hotel is any building or buildings in which the public may obtain sleeping accommodations for a cost of 2 dollars or more each day for a consecutive duration of 30 days or less. This includes, without limitation, hotels, motels, tourist homes, vacation rentals by owner, houses or courts, lodging houses, inns, hostels, rooming houses, bed and breakfasts, short-term vacation rentals or other buildings where rooms are furnished for consideration. It does not include hospitals, sanitariums or nursing homes.

To get started, you’ll need to:

  1. Create an Austin Finance Online (AFO) account
  2. Apply for an operating license
  3. Pay and report Hotel Occupancy Taxes quarterly


Already registered? 

Log in to file and pay your hotel and occupancy tax or operating license.

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Create an account

If your property is in Austin’s Full Purpose Jurisdiction you need an account to register for an operating license from Austin Code and a customer account number to file and pay quarterly City of Austin Hotel Occupancy Tax with the City of Austin Financial Services Department.

Check property jurisdiction

Once the account is created, you can add as many Austin Full Purpose Jurisdiction Properties to the account as you need.

Create account

Account registration instructions (PDF, 1.5MB)

Apply for or renew an operating license

All hotels and short-term rentals require an operating license. No person may operate a boarding house, hotel, rooming house, short-term rental, or bed and breakfast establishment unless a license for the operation, in the name of the owner or operator and for the specific dwelling unit, partial unit, accessory unit, building, structure, or property used, has been issued by the code official and is currently valid and in good standing.

Operating license

Paying and reporting quarterly taxes

The City of Austin's Hotel Occupancy Tax rate is 11 percent, comprised of a 9 percent occupancy tax and an additional 2 percent venue project tax.  Texas law requires that each bill or other receipt for a hotel charge subject to the tax imposed for a venue project contain a statement in a conspicuous location stating: "The City of Austin requires that an additional tax of two percent (2%) be imposed on each hotel charge for the purpose of financing a venue project."

Hotel Occupancy Taxes

Customers exempt from Hotel and Rental Tax

Exemptions are granted to organizations with an exempt entity status. An organization or individual claiming an exemption from the payment of hotel occupancy tax must furnish the hotel with a signed Hotel Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate at the time of registration. A Permanent resident exemption is exempt from local and state hotel tax if the hotel customer gives written notice and reserves and stays in the room at least 30 consecutive days. 

See who qualifies

Key terms

  • Consideration: The cost of the room in a hotel only if the room is ordinarily used for sleeping, and not including the cost of any food served or personal services rendered to the occupant of such room not related to the cleaning and readying of such room for occupancy.  The room must cost $2 or more each day for the tax to apply.  The tax does not apply to charges for meeting rooms or banquet rooms.
  • Occupancy:  The use or possession, or the right to the use or possession, of any room or rooms in a hotel if the room is one which is ordinarily used for sleeping and if the occupant is other than a permanent resident.
  • Permanent Resident:  A permanent resident is defined as any occupant who has or shall have the right to occupancy of any room or rooms in a hotel for at least 30 consecutive days during the calendar year or preceding year.  Permanent residents do not have to pay the Hotel Occupancy Tax. In order for the first 30 days of the stay to be exempt from hotel taxes, the hotel must receive written intent that the resident plans to stay at least 30 days. Without written intent, the tax must be collected and remitted to the City and State for the first 30 days of the stay.