Monday, August 19, 2013

Another Example of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should"

This is a short post.   The chart at the left shows the associated taxes and fees attached to a projected car rental in Seattle.   I say projected because on a recent trip I finally decided that I would not use this rental company (fees for other companies are comparable) because of the almost 40% rate of tax on the rental.

Most all of these except the sales tax (at a whopping 9.5%) are adopted because the state and local governments think they can get away with it.   Seattle got talked into building a new sports stadium and car renters are asked to help pay for it.   The cost of the concession granted the rental company is amortized out over all the renters.   The rental car company even asks to have renters pay for the license plates.   Oh, and we also get to pay for funding regional transit.

The point here is that at some point travelers are going to be less likely to rent cars or stay in hotels or even visit places if the hidden taxes that residents of the city think they are shuffling off on visitors become even more onerous.   From my perspective a 40% tax is a bit too dear.   So on this trip I cancelled the reservation and used a shuttle.  The cost of the shuttle (which undoubtedly also had some of these taxes) was even less than the total tax bill on the projected car rental.  Too bad Seattle.

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