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Travel Tip: Cities with the Highest Travel Taxes for 2014

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Tax signTaxes follow you everywhere, but you would be surprised to know how much of your travel dollar actually goes towards local taxes.

A recent Global Business Travel Association study found that, for corporate travelers especially, taxes on travel-related services could increase your total spending by a whopping 58 percent.

There’s the standard sales tax. But there’s also what’s called “discriminatory tax burdens” on travel-specific items:  car rentals, hotel lodging, and restaurant meals.

Overall, the two worst cities for overall taxes are Chicago and New York—the same findings as last year. Instead, you’re better off doing business in cities like Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach.

Ironically, while Portland, Oregon scored well for overall taxes, it ranked the highest for travel-related taxes. That’s because the state has no sales taxes, but the city is free to tack on taxes for things like hotel occupancy.

You can also expect to pay high travel taxes in cities like Boston, Indianapolis and Minneapolis.

Now here’s the issue: All that additional revenue usually goes toward a general fund for core city services. Not toward boosting travel and tourism. And the higher prices may actually deter travelers from coming altogether.

Keep reading for more travel tips.