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Travel Trade Group: Indianapolis Visitors Pay Too Much Tax

A travel-industry trade group is warning Indianapolis's taxes on travelers could hurt the city‘s competitiveness for business meetings.

The Global Business Travel Association calculates the taxes paid by visitors to Indianapolis on items from hotel rooms to rental cars come to more than $34 a day. That‘s the eighth-highest among the nation‘s top 50 travel destinations.

Jeremy Gardner is president of the association‘s Ohio Valley chapter, which covers Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. He says the group particularly objects to what it views as taxation without representation.

"That tax revenue on the car rental or the hotel isn‘t being spent to support the infrastructure that that person consumed while they were staying in Indianapolis; it‘s used to pay for a football stadium or a basketball stadium," Gardner says.

The city is considering raising the rental-car tax again to support the Capital Improvement Board, which oversees Lucas Oil Stadium and Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

But unlike most of the association‘s bottom 10, Indianapolis got its ranking mainly through sales taxes paid by everyone.

Indiana‘s seven-percent tax is the second-highest in the nation. Chicago rates as the association‘s most heavily-taxed city, at more than $40 a day.

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