Everything’s UP to date in Kansas City—Missouri that is…
Especially when it comes to the renting of a car. K.C.’s total car rental costs exceed those of major cities like Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas—even Los Angeles.
According to the annual national "Per Diem" survey of the nation’s top 100 markets conducted by BUSINESS TRAVEL NEWS, K.C. ranks as the ninth most expensive city in the U.S. to rent a car. St. Louis by comparison comes in at # 56.
As one would expect New York City has the highest car rental costs averaging at $62.11 per day plus 33% tax for a daily total of $ 82.88.
By comparison Kansas City’s average daily base rental is just $39.57. However with our average car rental tax being a whopping 44%, the average daily total for visitors to our fair city is $56.82 per day.
And that my friend makes our car rental taxes among the highest in the nation— tied only by Boston.
Why so high?
Think back to a handful of years ago when former KC Mayor Kay Barnes and her advisor Steve Glorioso were trying to find ways to subsidize the Sprint Center for concert promoter AEG and conveniently tagged the tax burden to car rentals.
After all, it’s primarily visitors to Kansas City who are getting fleeced, right?
St. Louis-based Enterprise Car Rental fought it at the time, but to no avail.
So it is what it is.
Of course, locals living on the Missouri side needing to rent a car have long since figured out they were getting screwed too. So they simply hit the Kansas side of the state line where renting a car comes at much more reasonable prices thanks to the lower taxes. Thus costing KCMO rental car taxes they otherwise might have gotten.
Fortunately in the greater scheme of things—including the cost of a hotel room, food and car—K.C. does much better by coming in at # 40 in the nation, or a total per diem of $283.00.
That compares to the # 1, New York City per diem of $536.96, Washington, D.C. at $462.62, Boston at $415.39, Chicago at $374.05, Las Vegas at $301.34, Atlanta at $297.25—but still ahead of St. Louis which sports a per diem of $282.61.