Taxes and Tipping
There is a hotel tax of 14 percent, with 6 percent going to state tax and 8 percent to city tax. There is a 7 percent tax on dining out and most general sales and a 10 percent tax on liquor, but there is no tax on items considered essential, including clothing.
Philadelphians were rated the nation’s best tippers in the 2007 Zagat Restaurant Guide, with restaurant tips averaging 19.4 percent. A 15 percent tip is usually the minimum, even when people are not particularly impressed with service. When all is good, most locals drop 20 percent. The 15–20 percent tipping rule usually applies to taxi cabs, although with more flexibility; a $1–2 tip will cover most rides within the city. For a ride to the airport, especially when luggage handling is involved, the standard is closer to $5. Bell hops and valet parkers generally get $1–2 per bag or per vehicle, and slightly more at the city’s ritziest establishments.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition