Hotel/Motel Taxes Levied by Home Rule, Metropolitan, and Certain Private Acts Home rule municipalities, metropolitan governments, and certain cities by private act or ordinance may levy a hotel/motel tax. For home rule municipalities, the hotel/motel tax applies to motel occupancies of fewer than 30 days. T.C.A. § 67-4-1401. The tax levied by a home rule municipality may not exceed 5 percent of the consideration charged for occupancy. It is collected when the customer is invoiced and remitted by the operator no later than the 20th of each month. Penalties and interest for delinquencies are authorized under T.C.A. § 67-4-1408, which allows home rule municipalities to use distress warrants to collect the tax.
Hotel/Motel Taxes Levied by Private Act
Municipalities that levy the tax by private act but that did not impose a hotel/motel tax by May 12, 1988, are prohibited from adopting such a tax if the county where the city is located already levies the tax. (This prohibition was removed for cities in Rutherford, Williamson, Blount, Dickson, Hardin, and Shelby counties, and for cities that have constructed a project under the Convention Center and Tourism Development Financing Act, codified as T.C.A. §§ 7-88-101, et seq. Because of the wording of the exemption in subsection (c) of 67-4-1425, this exemption might apply now or in the future in other counties not listed here.) If a city has already enacted the hotel/motel tax, the county may impose a hotel/motel tax only outside that city. T.C.A. § 67-4-1425. A recent AG opinion 15-78, opined that if the Hotel/Motel tax was levied through a private act, that it was also applicable to short-term rentals such as found through new services like Airbnb.
Hotel/Motel Taxes Authorized by General Law or General Law of Local Application
Cities in certain counties exempted under subsection (c) of T.C.A. § 67-4-1425 are limited to a 5 percent rate and cities in counties incorporated under the general law may levy the tax by ordinance passed by a two-thirds vote of the governing body.
The tax levied by these cities may not exceed 5 percent of the consideration charged by the operator, and revenues from the tax by cities in Blount County must be used for tourism as defined in T.C.A. § 7-4-101(8).