As anyone who has visited a tourist town has discovered, you will find tourist taxes do take a bite out of your vacation funds. With a bit of planning, however, you can minimize this expense.
First off, Disney area hotels (and Disney area vacation rental homes which are regulated like hotels) are required to collect State sales tax and county tourist development tax. The total tax depends on the county where the property is located.
First off, the State of Florida collects a 7% sales tax.
Lake County collects an additional 4% tourist tax.
Polk county collects an additional 5% tourist tax.
Osceola and Orange counties collect an additional 6% tourist tax.
Thus the total tax collected on your hotel or Disney area vacation rental home bill will range from 11% to 13%, depending on the county you stay in. Note that any items you purchase at the time of booking (pool heat, grill rental, etc) will also be subject to this tax, but as you visit the local stores and attractions you will generally only be subject to the 7% State sales tax.
You may also want to consider renting your car from a rental facility well away from the Orlando airport, as the airport rental locations are required to collect additional taxes that you won’t find at rental car locations elsewhere.
So, while you cannot avoid tourist taxes, you can, with a little planning, minimize them! Now plan that Disney area vacation!