NC Occupancy Tax Research

Occupancy taxes have been a popular form of support for tourism promotion and tourism-related product development in North Carolina since the first tax was authorized by the legislature in 1983. This report is one of the first and only comprehensive analyses of the local rate of taxation and the uses of occupancy tax revenues.

One of our key findings is that while the rate of taxation varies, the mandated allocation of occupancy tax revenue typically does not stray far from destination promotion and other tourism-related uses. With the exception of a few communities, nearly all lodging tax revenues in North Carolina are reinvested in destination marketing and tourism-related expenditures. While some legislation is sufficiently broad as to allow for a range of tourism-related expenses, there are only a handful of communities where some of the tax is directed to the general fund.

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