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New York City hotels will cost less this summer as city suspends occupancy tax

May 20, 2021
3 min read
New York City hotels will cost less this summer as city suspends occupancy tax
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If you need another reason to book that New York City summer trip you've been thinking about, here's one more: Hotel rooms just got a little bit cheaper.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an executive order that suspends the city's 5.875% hotel room occupancy tax for the summer to help kickstart the ailing hotel industry, one of the hardest-hit business sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The occupancy tax will be eliminated for all bookings for three months from June 1 through Aug. 31, 2021. It's hoped that waiving the tax for the summer season will motivate hotels to lower rates and drive demand for bookings.

“As our COVID rates continue to plummet and we continue to drive a recovery for all of us, tourists will be coming back to New York City in droves," said Mayor de Blasio in a statement after signing the executive order. "We’re ready for them."

Hotel industry leaders said the move provides some instant relief for the city's all-important leisure and hospitality sector, which lost an estimated 257,000 jobs in 2020, according to NY1.

"The temporary occupancy tax waiver is a much-needed lifeline that is strongly welcomed by the beleaguered hotel industry,” said Vijay Dandapani, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City.

City officials estimate revenue from the hotel room occupancy tax is down nearly 90% compared to the past fiscal year, with the pandemic and its crippling impact on travel and tourism the clear leading factor.

So how much will not paying the occupancy tax save you on a hotel room? As an example, we looked into booking a room at one of the most famous hotels in Midtown Manhattan, the St. Regis New York. For a sample weekend in June, a deluxe room booked through the hotel's official website costs $922 per night. Removing the 5.875% occupancy tax would save you $54.16 per night.

While that not sound like much for each night individually, on a two-night stay, that comes out to a savings of $108.32.

(Image courtesy of Marriott)

Let's look at a more budget-friendly accommodation option: the Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South. For the same weekend in June, a two-night stay at the property costs $350.40 for the room rate only. On top of that, the occupancy tax represents an additional $10.29 each night. In other words, you could be saving $20.59 on your two-night stay.

(Image courtesy of Hyatt)

Put another way: The money you save from the withheld tax could pay for a good meal at a restaurant in the city.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases