Hotel Lodging Tax

This division is responsible for the administration of the county lodging excise tax. The main functions include the collection and distribution of tax receipts and the conducting of audits of hotels and motels to ensure compliance with the tax regulations.  The total county lodging tax is 6.5% and is distributed as follows:

  • 3% is used primarily to support the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau  , whose mission is to positively impact the Greater Cincinnati area economy through convention, trade show, and visitor expenditures. The remainder of this portion of the tax is returned to the municipal corporations and unincorporated areas in the county that have hotels but do not levy a separate lodging tax.

  • 3.5% (effective December 1, 2002) is earmarked to the renovation and expansion of downtown Cincinnati's Duke Energy Convention Center   and the Sharonville Convention Center  , and other capital projects that will drive increased tourism.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lodging tax?

The lodging tax is charged to every transient guest occupying a room or rooms with sleeping accommodations in a lodging establishment.

Who pays the lodging tax?

Hotel/motel and bed and breakfast (with at least five rooms) operators are to include the tax on guest bills. If the operators do not collect the tax from guests the operators are responsible for paying the lodging tax.

What is definition of a hotel?

A hotel is a place where five or more sleeping accommodations are offered to guests, even if the rooms are in separate structures. If a hotel has less than five rooms, the county lodging tax does not apply.

What is the lodging tax rate?

The lodging tax rate is 6.5%.

Are bed and breakfast facilities required to collect lodging tax?

If a bed and breakfast facility has at least five rooms that are being rented to guests the facility must apply the lodging tax to guests’ bills.

Do cities within Hamilton County collect their own lodging tax or does the County imposes the only lodging tax?

The cities of Blue Ash, Cincinnati, Harrison, Forest Park, Norwood, Sharonville and Springdale; and the townships of Colerain, Green and Symmes are presently levying their own lodging tax.

To whom is the check made payable for the lodging tax?

The check should be made payable to The Treasurer of Hamilton County.

Where should a lodging establishment mail its payment and tax return?

Hotel/Motel Lodging Tax
County Administration Building, Room 603
138 East Court Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Is there a specific form to be used by hotel in determining the amount of tax to pay the County?

Yes. It is required to be filled out by lodging establishments on a quarterly basis. Download the Lodging Excise Tax Return here.  

Who is exempt from paying lodging tax?

The following organizations and individuals do not have to pay lodging tax:

  • Employees of any branch of the federal government traveling on official business. Payment must be made by government check or government credit card.

  • Employees of any organization established by the Congress of the United States.

  • Employees of any state or local government (state, city, county, township) outside of the State of Ohio traveling on official business. Payment must be made by government check or government credit card.

  • Employees of any public school system outside of the State of Ohio traveling on official business. Payment must be made by school board check or school board credit card.

  • Non-transient guests who occupy a hotel room for 30 or more consecutive days.  If they occupy a room for 30 or more consecutive days, they are exempt from the lodging tax for their entire stay. This includes airline companies, etc., who rent a room for 30 or more consecutive days, regardless of who actually stays in the room. It may be different flight crew members each night.  

Other agencies (churches, social groups, Ohio schools, Ohio government agencies, etc.) may be exempt from Ohio sales tax because they are considered tax exempt organizations, but they are not exempt from paying the lodging tax.

How do I let the County know a room rental is exempt from the tax?

For each qualified stay the owner must complete a Certificate of Exemption   to accompany all filings where an exemption is listed. Remember to keep a photocopy for your own files.

When are lodging tax payments due?

QUARTERLY PERIOD DUE DATE
January-March April 30
April-June July 31
July-September October 31
October-December January 31

 

What happens if payment is late?

Failing to report tax or paying after the deadline could result in penalties and interest being charged.




Contact:
Lisa Anderson,
Lodging Tax Administrator


138 E. Court Street,
Room 603
Cincinnati, OH 45202

PH: (513) 946-4319
lisa.anderson@hamilton-co.org