For all the complaints travelers have been voicing about delayed flights, declining service, crowded planes and invasive security procedures, there has been comparatively little outcry about another trend: escalating taxes on flights, car rentals and hotel stays.

But travel companies and trade associations are beginning to reach for the megaphone on their customers? behalf, protesting the growing cost of taxes, many of them financing initiatives that have nothing to do with travel.

One of the most thorough studies of hotel taxes, conducted by the American Economics Group, a consulting firm, found that these taxes added 12 percent to an average hotel bill in 2003, compared with 9 percent in 1997. These ?bed taxes? include local sales taxes as well as any taxes charged specifically on hotel rooms.

The total tax rate on hotel rooms is now roughly 14 percent in New York City. It typically falls in the 14 to 17 percent range in many other large cities.

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