Monday, March 19, 2012

Cherry Blossoms, Hotel Occupancy Tax, and CUNA's GAC

The National Cherry Blossom Festival begins on March 20th and hundreds of thousands of visitors will visit Washington, D.C. to see the delicate pink blossoms. Many of these visitors will also pay the D.C. hotel occupancy tax of 14.5 percent along with local sales taxes; but not federal credit union officials attending the Credit Union National Association's Government Affairs Conference (GAC), which runs from March 18 through March 22.

The Federal Credit Union Act exempts employees and officals from Federal Credit Unions from the hotel occupancy tax, as long as the final payment is made by check, share draft or credit card issued by a federal credit union and the tax exemption forms are presented upon hotel check-in.

In addition, federal credit union officials are exempt from the District's Sales and Use Tax on any purchases that they make while attending this conference.

I'm estimating that the District of Columbia could lose approximately $500,000 in tax revenues over that four day period.

This is just wrong.

Why should these federal credit union officials be exempted from paying the hotel tax, when other people visiting our nation's capital pay this tax?


  1. You are a hoot, where on the economic earth did you come up with a half million in avoided taxes. Did you assume that the State Credit Unions, who also attend would also be exempt, or are you conceding that the Hotels of DC overcharge everybody ?

    FYI, it is a battle for the FCU's to get the Hotels of DC to accept the exemption, so your point is what ?

  2. I assumed a 4 night stay using the average room rate from the 11 conference hotels of $286 per night.

    CUNA has stated that the number of credit union officials attending is between 4,000 and 5,000. Since sixty-one percent of all credit unions are federal credit unions, I applied that percentage to total attendees to derive the estimate.

    So, are you saying CUNA is exaggerating the total number of attendees to the GAC?



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