Based on departmental approval, both in-state and out-of-state travel may be reimbursed according to Texas State Comptroller/GSA guidelines. Lodging and meal allowances can be found on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts web site. Comptroller guidelines are valid for both state and institutionally funded travel.
Use of State Contract Hotels
A traveler may stay at his/her hotel of choice, including but not limited to state contract hotels, however, the rate may not exceed the per-diem lodging rate established by the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts.
When requesting a state rate be sure to request the State of Texas rate. If the "Government" rate is requested, an incorrect rate will be confirmed and they hotel may refuse to offer the rate upon check-in. A list of hotels offering state rates can be found by accessing the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website. Hotel rates are available only to state employees. Employees within the U. T. System complex may obtain information on additional preferred hotels in the downtown Austin area by clicking on the link below and logging into SharePoint.
Preferred Downtown Austin Hotels
Hotel Check-In Requirements
When checking into a contract lodging establishment, please be prepared to show one of the following forms of identification as proof that you are entitled to the State of Texas contract rate:
- State of Texas employee ID card
- State of Texas payroll ID (check stub)
- A letter, on state agency letterhead and signed by an executive officer identifying the traveler as traveling on state business and authorized to use state contract rates
Some hotels have begun charging an early check-out fee. This fee varies by hotel. When making lodging arrangements, it is suggested that you ask if the property has this type of fee and plan accordingly.
Texas State Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate
Institutions of higher education are exempt from state taxes when staying at motels within Texas. Hotels and lodging establishments require a State of Texas Occupancy Tax Exemption Certificate (PDF format) upon check-in. This form replaces all previously used tax exempt cards or certificates.
Direct Billing Options
Direct billing is typically reserved for guests of the University or special travel circumstances. Hotels traditionally require 10-14 days advance notice to process a direct billing request. The department requesting direct billing is responsible for contacting the appropriate hotel, submitting the required paperwork to the hotel, and ensuring payment to the hotel after travel is complete. For additional assistance, please contact Amy Mitchell at 512.322.3728.
When contacting a hotel regarding direct billing, the following information should be available:
- Department Name
- Department Contact Name
- Department mailing address and phone number
- Name of individual authorized to make direct billing reservations
- Name of traveler
- Dates of reservation
- Confirmation number
- Credit requirements - what the department will pay for (room, meals, phone calls, parking, etc.) The hotel will charge the traveler for any additional cost not listed on the direct bill application.