Visitors swarmed Austin for South by Southwest last week, but a new city audit shows some Austin hotels aren’t paying a 9 percent city tax imposed on hotel stays, which is causing the city to miss out on thousands of dollars it could use for cultural arts and other programs.
The problem is one that the city auditor’s office has found repeatedly in a dozen audits looking at a total of 110 hotels and lodging businesses since 2005. But neither city management nor the City Council have made major changes to the program or applied tougher penalties to businesses that don’t pay the tax.
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