Groups Criticize High Car Rental Tax

Travel companies and trade associations have started to protest rising travel costs, including high car rental taxes, the New York Times reports.

Major car rental companies and the association has focused on fighting high taxes on car rentals, many of which finance initiatives that have nothing to do with travel, and has tried to raise awareness by lobbying state and local officials.

Taxes and other charges passed along by car rental companies, like vehicle licensing fees, raise the average rental bill 28 percent at airport locations, according to Travelocity, the online travel agency.

These taxes and fees can exceed 50 percent at airports in Kansas City, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle.

As of last October, there were "something like 86" special taxes and surcharges around the country levied on car rentals, and another 48 were being considered, says Neil Abrams, president of the Abrams Consulting Group, which follows the car rental industry.

The Times reports that industry analysts say more municipalities are taxing rental customers to pay for local projects like sports stadiums, convention centers, public transportation improvements and even a rodeo arena.

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