Those hotel occupancy taxes in Texas' big cities are so high they'll give you a nosebleed. Example: My $279 stay at the lovely Granduca Hotel in Houston a few days ago carried $46.93 in occupancy tax: That's 6 percent for the great State of Texas, 7 percent for the city, 2 percent for Harris County and another 2 percent for the Houston-Harris County Sports Authority, the entity that builds stadiums. That little sports tax pushed Houston's total to 17 percent, inching past San Antonio's 16.75 percent. Dallas sits at 15 percent. If the Cowboys had wound up there instead of deciding to build a new stadium in Arlington, my guess is that we travelers would be ponying up for that, too.
I know, I know: Anyone who can afford a $280 hotel room can probably handle nearly $50 in taxes on it. It's still irksome.