Welcome to the Door County Tourism Zone Commission

Room Tax Changes

Dear Door County Tourism Zone Permit Holder,

For those of you who utilize online Lodging Marketplaces such as Airbnb, VRBO, Homeaway or one of the many others, we want to make you aware that changes may be coming as of January 1, 2020.

With the recent passage of WISCONSIN ACT 10, there may be changes to how room tax will be collected for those who use online lodging platforms. 

If you don’t utilize an online lodging marketplace platform, please disregard this email.

Registered agents for the major lodging platforms are not ready with information on how the new process will work or if they plan to comply with the legislation.  These unknowns make it challenging to communicate and prepare those who provide lodging in Door County via these platforms. In order to look ahead to 2020 with the unknowns, we must all be extremely aware and alert to the possibility of changes.

While the method  of room tax collection may change, under local ordinances, your responsibility for reporting will not, even if the room tax is paid by your Lodging Marketplace. Each permit holder will continue to be required to remit reporting for each of your permitted months of operation.

Reporting will be essential for the mechanics of distribution.  It will be vital to your municipality that you report on time your lodging sales and how much was paid on your behalf by each lodging marketplace that you list your property on.

This reporting step is going to be critical. Why? Lodging Marketplaces will only provide a bulk payment.  No transactional information will arrive with the bulk payments. Data is necessary for room tax revenue to be returned to the municipality in which it was collected. Please remember how essential room tax revenue is to each Door County municipality.


1) We know changes are coming. There is no further information nor guidelines that have been provided. We are all better prepared if we know to be on the lookout for changes.

2) When and if changes do come, Lodging Marketplaces are required to notify you. Be alert and be sure you are checking your platform dashboard and your email inbox for any communication.

3) These changes don’t originate from the Tourism Zone Commission.  We will be here to support and assist you with these changes.  Please remember we have one (1) staff member.  If you get voicemail, that means she is on the phone assisting others or it is after hours.   Room tax works because it is a partnership; we are in this together.

4) As more information becomes available, we will reach out and assist with need to know information.
What you can do until there is more information?Be organized… be prepared! Print each reservation. (Or at the very least create a spreadsheet/ledger)Record the date of the reservation.If changes are implemented, they will take effect based on the date the reservation was made, not when the lodging occurred. (It will impact reservations made after January 1, 2020) It will be helpful to write on reservations made in 2019 for 2020 how room tax was collected (included in nightly rate, etc.).Get familiar with how to run reports with each of the platforms you utilize.  It will be your responsibility to be able to access for each platform how much room tax was paid on your behalf for a report month.Airbnb gross earnings transaction history (Be sure to follow the directions for gross earnings.)VRBO – post stay> full traveler payment detail (there is no singular report to run to access the needed information.)Review the possibility of utilizing the Airbnb Custom Taxes.Representative Kitchens is currently seeking co-sponsorship of the Lodging Marketplace bill.  Door County would not be what it is without local municipal Room Tax. That success is built by all of you who work so diligently to not only provide superior lodging and guest experiences but through collecting and remitting local municipal room tax. Thank you!

More information is forthcoming as it becomes available. In the meantime be diligent, aware and be organized for 2020.  We know you will have questions and require support.  We are here to help.

You can reach the Tourism Zone office at 920.854.6200 or
email: [email protected]

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