Remember your history…When the Roman Empire taxed its annexed citizens thoughout its reign so as to keep its armies up and local taxes down.

Well, they say history repeats itself.

As of January 1, 2011 a fee of 3 Euros per night for four and five star hotes and 2 Euros per night for those lesser star rated properties.

What makes this one interesting is that a local politition type actually said  “In order for the city of Rome not to tax the Romans, we have decided to tax the tourists.”

I now expect to see conquering legions march out of the city, dragging back the wallets of unsuspecting tourists…after all the airport is a few miles out of town.

Mind you, giving the price of a night’s stay in Rome these days, the fee is a small percentage of what you’ll be paying anyway.

And accommodation taxes are not new. Venice, trying to get itself out of deep water dept, recently announced its own tax, and I am sure others will follow.

On this side of the pond its hard to find a city that is not already charging us for the priviledge of visiting their cities.

Some call it a marketing fee, some call it improvement fees but by any standard a tax by any other name still stinks.

So we will pony up to the counter, frown, express dissatisfaction, pay the bill and go home telling our friends what a great time we had in Rome. Or whatever other destination that has found that even through all opposition protests we still go, often not realizing there is an extra charge until we check out.

So like the conquered nations of old, this little old Canadian will hide his flag in his breast pocket as he reaches for his wallet.

And on it goes!

Just as the city of Venice is planning an entry tax, Rome has announced that it will be charging an accommodation tax known as the ‘Contirbuto di Soggiorno’ from 1st January 2011. The small fee will be set at 3€ per night for up to ten nights at four- and five-star hotels while guests staying in all other accommodations will pay just 2€ extra per night. Children under the age of two and youth hostels will be exempt.

Local councillor Frederico Guidi explained:It is believed that the tax will generate 80m€ which will be put back into tourist services.