JLARC Compilation of municipal reports

About the Report

Print Friendly & Accessible Version

Report presents data from municipalities about use of lodging tax revenue

This report summarizes lodging tax data for calendar years 2014 through 2018, as reported by cities, towns, and counties that received a distribution of lodging tax revenue.

JLARC compiles but does not verify expenditure reports from municipalities

In 2013, the Legislature directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) to collect and report information about local use of lodging tax revenue for tourism purposes (Ch. 196, Laws of 2013).

JLARC staff maintains an online reporting system, provides reporting guidelines, and compiles data each year. Municipalities are responsible for the accuracy of their data. JLARC staff do not independently verify the information.

Lodging Tax Flow

Municipalities collect and use lodging tax revenue for tourism activities

Municipalities (cities, towns, and counties) may levy a tax on lodging in two ways. They may:

  1. Collect a lodging tax of up to 2 percent that is taken as a credit against the state sales tax.
  2. Collect an additional sales tax of up to 2 percent on lodging stays.

Municipalities may use lodging tax revenue for specific tourism-related activities under RCW 67.28.1816:

  • Tourism marketing.
  • Operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
  • Capital expenditures for tourism-related facilities owned by the municipality.

The municipality may spend the funds directly or award the funds to local organizations, such as convention and visitors bureaus or destination marketing agencies. With the exception of King County, any municipality that receives a distribution of lodging tax revenue must report information to JLARC (RCW 67.28.1816).

Questions about the reported information should be directed to the individual municipality. To learn more about the reporting process, please visit JLARC's Lodging Tax Data Collection page.

2018 Lodging Tax Expenditures Update

July 2019

JLARC Compilation of municipal reports

Statewide Summary

97% of municipalities reported in 2018

The Department of Revenue identified 197 municipalities that received a distribution of lodging tax revenue in 2018. Of these, 191 (97 percent) reported information to JLARC. An additional municipality also reported information to JLARC. The Reporting Compliance tab includes more details.

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Received funds (report required)

195

195

202

198

197

   Reported lodging tax expenditures

152

180

184

180

178

   Reported no expenditures

13

12

14

12

14

   Did not report

30

3

4

6

5

Did not receive funds, but filed a report*

4

1

* These municipalities may have received a distribution of lodging tax revenue in previous years.

Statewide, municipalities reported $57.3 million awarded, 60.9 million attendees, 16.8 million paid lodging nights

The following table summarizes the data statewide. You can find additional detail on the Municipal Summaries and Activity-Specific Data tabs. Our glossary defines each term.

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Funding

   Funds requested for activities

$57,418,410

$44,201,383

$49,778,123

$56,394,096

$58,177,372

   Funds awarded by municipalities

$37,134,016

$40,413,415

$46,908,930

$55,531,303

$57,290,807

   Total activity cost (including other funds)

$142,352,632

$147,828,485

$162,993,138

$173,449,450

$192,291,450

Attendance at activities funded by lodging tax revenue (actual)

   Overall attendance

35,425,504

54,877,411

56,921,660

60,383,853

60,950,379

   Attendees who traveled 50+ miles

17,627,699

24,353,595

25,114,620

26,939,845

26,761,020

   Attendees from out of state or country

5,150,003

8,765,332

8,697,034

15,380,454

11,119,250

Lodging

   Paid lodging nights

7,015,259

6,995,235

8,529,793

16,104,523

16,837,470

   Attendees who did not pay for overnight lodging

4,327,691

9,852,330

14,286,640

20,097,887

16,534,953

   Attendees who paid for overnight lodging

8,858,370

10,234,630

13,239,848

9,158,710

9,221,637

Note: Some municipalities reported incomplete data to JLARC, so attendance and lodging totals may not equal the overall attendance.
Source: Reports provided by municipalities that received a distribution of lodging tax revenue during 2014 - 2018, as identified by the Department of Revenue. Statute exempts King County from the reporting requirement. Some municipalities did not spend lodging tax revenue or submit reports. JLARC staff compile, but do not verify the information.

2018 Lodging Tax Expenditures Update

July 2019

JLARC Compilation of municipal reports

Municipal Summary

View each municipality's annual funding, attendance, and lodging data

This table presents annual totals for activities funded by lodging tax revenue in each municipality. Data includes predicted and actual figures for attendance and lodging nights.

  • All data columns are listed in blue across the top of the window. Our glossary defines each term.
  • Use drop-down filters at the top of the window filter data by year, activity type, and municipality.
  • Highlighted fields indicate that the municipality did not report data.

If you choose "activity type," the table will show the totals for all activities within the type. You can find data about individual activities (e.g., a community festival) on the Activity-Specific Data tab.

Municipal Summary

2018 Lodging Tax Expenditures Update

July 2019

JLARC Compilation of municipal reports

Activity-Specific Data

View the funding, attendance, and lodging data for each activity

This table provides funding, attendance, and lodging data for over 7,500 activities funded by lodging tax revenue.

  • All data columns are listed in blue across the top of the window. Our glossary defines each term.
  • Use drop-down filters at the top of the window filter data by year, activity type, and municipality.
  • Highlighted fields indicate that the municipality did not report data.

Activity-Specific Data

2018 Lodging Tax Expenditures Update

July 2019

JLARC Compilation of municipal reports

Reporting Compliance

Reporting is required by state law

RCW 67.28.1816 requires local governments to report expenditures of lodging tax revenue. Statute exempts King County from the reporting requirement.

JLARC staff summarized compliance into four categories:

  1. Did not report: the municipality received a distribution of lodging tax revenue during the year, but failed to report expenditures to JLARC.
  2. No state distribution: the municipality did not receive lodging tax revenue during this year and did not report expenditures to JLARC.
  3. Reported: the municipality reported lodging tax expenditures to JLARC.
  4. Reported no expenditures: the municipality received a distribution of lodging tax revenue and reported to JLARC that they did not expend any lodging tax revenue.

Use the drop-down filters at the top of the window to filter data by municipality and year.

Reporting Compliance

2018 Lodging Tax Expenditures Update

July 2019

JLARC Compilation of municipal reports

Download the Data

You can view or save the data

The Excel file linked below contain complete lodging tax data reported to JLARC for 2014 – 2018.

  • Please note that JLARC staff do not independently verify the data in these files.
  • Blank fields indicate that the municipality did not report data.

To download the data, click the link below.

Complete 2014 - 2018 Data