Room Tax Tools

On July 14, 2015 Wisconsin Act 55 made numerous reforms to Wisconsin's Room Tax Statute 66.0615, followed by further changes in Spring of 2016. WH&LA is in the process of continuing to develop new resources to assist the lodging industry and the general public in interpreting the new statutes correctly and adhering to the new requirements. The tools posted below include the 2015 & 2016 revisions.

  • ​Checking In: A Look at Wisconsin Room Tax Trends - (Released May 2019) An independent bi-partisan report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF). The report was sponsored by the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association, the Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin. [ Related - WH&LAs Media Release ]
  • Wisconsin Local Room Tax Model - a diagram displaying how the process of local room tax works in Wisconsin

  • How Can Room Tax Be Spent?  - (Updated May 2018) this one-page guide provides a simplified method for tourism commissions, tourism entities, and other interested parties to use to evaluate and determine if a proposed expenditure can be funded by room tax revenues designated for "tourism promotion and tourism development." With the new public online reporting required starting in May 2017, it will be more important than ever to make determinations in compliance with the state statute.

  • Tourism Commission Overview - organizes the multiple references to commissions in statute 66.0615 in one easier to read tool that will help ensure that there is increased awareness, understanding, and compliance with our state law.

  • Tourism Entity Overview The Tourism Entity Overview covers the changes to the Room Tax Statute 66.0615 relating to a Tourism Entity, including the new definition, what it means, and new requirements for representation in its governing body as well as what a Tourism Entity must do. Included is a handy statutory definition of "tourism promotion and tourism development" for easy reference. This guide, dated July 2016 at the bottom of page 2, replaces any previous guide that became outdated upon passage of the new state law in March 2016.

  • 2015 WI Act 55 Room Tax Reporting - This one page resource provides an overview by the State Department of Revenue  (DOR) of all of the components required by room tax statute 66.0615 to be reported to the DOR by municipalities imposing a room tax. The first report must be remitted by May of 2017, covering the 2016 fiscal year.

  • 2015-17 Biennial Budget Revisions to Municipal Room Tax is an Information Memorandum issued by the state's Legislative Council, focusing on municipality clarifications

  • Clarification on Confidentiality of Room Tax Information, relates to what information should be kept confidential by a municipality collecting Room Tax in Wisconsin

  • Each municipality imposing a room tax must file an annual report on their room tax collections and expenditures with the state Department of Revenue. These reports can be searched and viewed by municipality for the past two years here.

The following resources are for WH&LA Lodging Members only and are password protected.
Please note that the following resources do not include the July 2015 changes, however they still contain some valuable information.

Room Taxes and Tourism Development (2012, by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance) explores the impact of tourism spending on wages and incomes in Wisconsin counties. It also provides available room figures and data for major tourist markets in the state with snapshots of tourism trends and their potential impact.
Local Government Revenue Options - January 2019 includes the state's information on Room Tax, along with special district taxes

The pieces provided here are a public service from the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association (WH&LA) and are not intended to replace legal counsel. For questions on any of the WH&LAs Room Tax publications, contact us at 262/782-2851 or