Lodgers’ Tax Best Practices Handbook


Historically, in practice, use of occupancy tax proceeds has lacked consistency across the state. "For far too long public entities have expended occupancy tax proceeds for a broad variety of uses without sufficient accountability or guidance," said State Auditor Brian Colón. State Auditor Colón commends and supports the New Mexico Hospitality Association in its effort to provide guidance through its publication of the "Lodgers' Tax Best Practices Handbook." The Handbook serves as a resource for municipalities and counties. These important efforts to raise awareness of the need for increased uniformity and standardized criteria for the collection, expenditure, and administrative practices relating to the Lodgers' Tax are necessary and welcomed. Since its passage in 1969, New Mexico's Lodgers' Tax Act allows municipalities the option to create local Lodgers' Tax ordinances to collect occupancy taxes for the primary purpose of marketing and promoting their destination to tourists. The Hospitality Association created the Handbook with input from a variety of stakeholders, including feedback from the Office of the State Auditor, and the Handbook serves as an important first step towards establishing a statewide uniform process capable of limiting the potential for waste, fraud, and abuse and promotes a greater measure of accountability.