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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Hotel occupancy taxes
Exception for travel outside Texas

A state employee traveling outside Texas shall be reimbursed for his or her required payment of hotel occupancy or similar taxes. Texas Government Code Section 660.116(a) The taxes are classified as an incidental expense and not as a lodging expense for the purpose of the maximum reimbursement rate for lodging expenses.

A state employee traveling outside Texas may not be reimbursed for a hotel occupancy or similar tax that applicable law allows to be rebated or refunded to the employee if the agency requires the employee to claim the rebate or refund.

A state employee must be reimbursed for a hotel occupancy or similar tax from which the employee is legally exempt, but only if the employee properly claims the exemption and the commercial lodging establishment refuses to honor it. Texas Government Code Section 660.116(b)

Commercial Lodging Establishment
(1) a motel, hotel, inn, apartment, house or similar establishment that provides lodging to the public for pay; or (2) a person or establishment that provides lodging for pay that the Comptroller determines to have a sufficient number of the characteristics of a commercial lodging establishment for the purposes of the Travel Regulations Act. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(5) The term includes lodging provided by: (1) a governmental entity on property controlled by that entity; or (2) a religious organization on property controlled by that organization; or (3) a private educational institution on property controlled by that institution.
Incidental Expense
An expense incurred while traveling on official state business. The term includes a mandatory insurance or service charge and an applicable tax, except a tax based on the cost of a meal. The term does not include a meal, lodging or transportation expense, a personal expense, an expense that an individual would incur regardless of whether the individual were traveling on official state business, a tip or a gratuity. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(10)
May Not
A prohibition against a specified action. The term does not mean "might not" or its equivalents. Texas Government Code Section 311.016(5)
State Employee
An individual employed by a state agency, including a key official. Texas Government Code Section 660.002(20) The term includes prospective state employees and aircraft pilots.
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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