Kulturförderabgabe (Culture Tax) or Bettensteuer (Bed Tax) are the terms used for accommodation taxes is Germany.
In 2010 there was an explosion of such hotel taxes across Germany, possibly in reaction to a reduction in the VAT rate leaving local authorities short of funding. The speed at which some were introduced left those affected absorbing the cost, as exemplified by what happened in Cologne, where in the space of a week the legislation was ratified and being charged.
Worth noting too, of the cities imposing this tax, many impose it on top of the VAT inclusive rate, making it a double whammy: a tax on a tax. Dehoga/IHA (German hotel associations) are ardently opposed to these taxes.
In July 2011 Munich's attempt to introduce a €2.50 per person flat rate bed tax was successfully thwarted when the Bayerische Verwaltungsgericht München (Bavarian Administrative Court of Munich) upheld a complaint by the Government of Upper Bavaria against the Munich local authority. The decision was welcomed by the Deutscher Tourismusverband (German Tourist Association).
Aachen, Bremen/Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Lübeck all announced that a bed tax will be introduced in 2012. More alarmingly in November 2011 local authorities in Berlin sanctioned the introduction of a bed tax, although it is not yet law and when (if) it does will not come into force until 2013.
The table summarises where taxes currently exist and where they are scheduled in the not too distant future. The DEHOGA and IHA (German Hotel Association) websites are both useful sources for up to date information.