History and Legal Agreements

Door County Tourism Zone History and Legal Agreements

TOURISM WORKS FOR US: The history of room tax in Door County…

In May of 2007, the Door County Tourism Zone Commission was established out of the hard work from a group of concerned citizens.  Studies showed that Door County was losing its market share to other locations in the state; the only way for Door County to remain a sought after destination was to generate money for a broader marketing campaign.  The Door County economy has benefited from those efforts with improved national and regional exposure as a result of the establishment of room tax in Door County.


TOURISM WORKS FOR US: What is room tax and who has to pay it?

For the privilege of occupancy in any lodging facility, each transient is subject to and pays a tax in the amount of 8.0% of the rent charged by the lodging provider.  Lodging facilities come in many forms and must be permitted for transient rental.  Common examples include: Hotels, motels, B&B’S, cabins, cottages, lodges, homes, condos or rental rooms.  This is not an all-inclusive list.  The DCTZC evaluates new forms of lodging for permitting requirements on a case-by-case basis.

Persons renting their lodging facilities must collect the tax from their customer and submit the tax to the Door County Tourism Zone the same way a hotel or motel collects tax from its guests.  Property management companies, online travel companies and other third party rental companies are also responsible for collecting the tax.  The entity that collects payment for the room is the entity that is responsible for collecting and remitting room tax to the Door County Tourism Zone Commission. A person will only meet the definition of a tourist or transient if he or she is away from his or her permanent address.  The length of the tourist or transient's stay does not matter. If lodging is rented to a tourist or transient, it requires a permit.

Important Agreements
How is room tax used?

The Door County Tourism Zone collects room tax and contracts with a tourism marketing entity.

The Tourism Zone distributes 70% of collected room tax to Destination Door County, the designated marketing agency for Door County.

  • Destination Door County distributes 19% of their received room tax to Community Business Associations.
  • All remaining room tax revenues are used to market Door County to increase interest in visitation and generating overnight stays.
  • Destination Door County develops an annual market plan and budget, hires and evaluates vendors, and executes a countywide marketing plan.

The Door County Tourism Zone disburses 30% of collected room tax to the municipality in which the tax was collected.

The Door County Tourism Zone Commission enforces the ordinance and upholds the guidelines set by Wisconsin State Statute 66.0615.

Municipalities fund the operation of the Tourism Zone office and are reimbursed for the payment by Destination Door County.

  • All Commission members are volunteers designated by their member municipality
  • The DCZTC has a full time administrator and part-time assistant administrator
  • Tax collection and ordinance enforcement are managed by the DCTZC
  • The DCTZC is audited annually by an outside municipal accounting firm
  • All money collected by the DCTZC from permit holders is handled by an accounting firm