CLAUSE: Exposing the Hidden Extras

“Hotel hereby confirms a Group single/double sleeping room rate of $100. Current tax charged on sleeping rooms is 12 percent, including 8 percent sales tax and 4 percent occupancy tax. Neither Group nor its attendees will be responsible for paying any taxes or surcharges on guest sleeping rooms not enumerated in this contract or otherwise disclosed to Group and its attendees unless required by law. Hotel will inform Group of any changes in tax rates or types that will affect Group or its attendees.”

EFFECT: A Taxing Situation

It can be startling how much a $100 per-night sleeping room actually costs after adding in sales tax, occupancy or bed tax, and other fees. The clause above simply requires that hotels disclose the exact amount of taxes and fees upfront. Don't be surprised to see new surcharges on rooms as hotels try to keep their rates competitive. Adding a clause like this to a contract relieves the group and attendees from paying any surcharges that have not been disclosed. Some planners even have the hotel complete a “Hotel Disclosure Checklist” at the time of contracting, requiring the hotel to disclose surcharges for local calls, long-distance calls, Internet access, and other services associated with guest rooms. Forewarned is forearmed.

Tyra W. Hilliard, Esq., CMP ( is a meeting industry attorney and assistant professor of event and meeting management at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

e-mail the editor

For Breaking News…

Every day there's something new on, The Meetings Group Web site. And don't forget to sign up for MeetingsNet Extra, our straight-talking e-newsletter.