Study: State of Wisconsin loses $186 M in tax revenue from closed hotels amid pandemic

 Wisconsin Dells (Source: Wis. Dells' website)
Wisconsin Dells (Source: Wis. Dells' website) (NBC15)
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 2:53 PM CDT
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A new report found that the State of Wisconsin has lost an estimated $186.5 million in tax revenue from hotels in the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic, making 2020 the worst year for hotels on record.

The hotel lobbying group Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association, citing a new report from Oxford Economics, found that the state will have $186.5 million less in tax revenue this year because of the severe drop in hotel occupancy. All hotels were forced to shutter their doors during the statewide stay-at-home order, and many remain closed under county orders.

The association concludes that 2020 has become the worst year on record for hotel occupancy, and cities the Oxford study in predicting that it will be at least until 2022 before hotels return to occupancy experienced pre-pandemic.

The study adds that over 70 percent of hotel employees have been furloughed or laid off, and a total of $16.8 billion in tax revenue across the U.S. has been lost because of closed hotels amid the pandemic.

Bill Elliott, CAE, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association, said in a release that the hotel industry "has been upended by the pandemic." According to Elliott:

The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association says they represent all sizes and types of lodging properties throughout Wisconsin.