Travel Information

Iowa Code 80.45A

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  1. Does this apply to out of state travel?
  2. No, Iowa Code 80.45A does not apply to out-of-state travel. The law only applies to lodging providers that pay Iowa hotel/motel taxes.


  3. What is the website where I can check a lodging provider’s certification status?
  4. https://stophtiowa.org/certified-locations


  5. Which funding sources are exempt from this Iowa Code section and can be utilized with a provider who is not certified under Iowa Code 80.45A?
    • Funding from federal and states other than Iowa are exempt from this requirement. Funding from sources other than the State of Iowa are exempt from this requirement. Foundation funds are exempt from this requirement.
    • Those funding sources that must comply with these requirements are:
      • Sponsored research agreements with sponsors or prime sponsors that fall within the Sponsor Type of State of Iowa Government.
      • Program Worktags with the following IRTs:
        • IRT1001 ISURF-Iowa State University Research Foundation
        • IRT1007 General University
        • IRT1008 General University Faculty Start-Up
        • IRT1010 BIOE-Special State Appropriations - Leading BIOECON
        • IRT1019 General University Capital Projects
        • IRT1025 AESFSU-State Appropriation Faculty Start Ups – AES
        • IRT1033 ACFSU-General University Advance Commitments Faculty
        • IRT1036 AESS-State Appropriation – AES
        • IRT1049 GUAC – General University Advance Commitments
        • IRT1069 GUBR-General University Bldg Repair
        • IRT1109 GULA-General University Library Acquistions
        • IRT1112 CIRAS-Special state appropriations - CIRAS
        • IRT1113 ILHAC-Special state appropriations - ILHAC
        • IRT1116 RP-Special State Appropriations - Research Park
        • IRT1117 SBDC-Special State Appropriations - SBDC
        • IRT1118 VDLS-Special state appropriations - VDL
        • IRT1119 CESS-State Appropriation - CES
        • IRT1120 CESFSU-State Appropriation Faculty Start Ups - CES
        • IRT1133 MULTI-USDA Multi-State
        • IRT1142 BIOSCI-Special State Appropriations - Biosciences Innovation


  6. Will the compliance of the hotel being on the list be checked before a transaction routes to a cost center manager (CCM) or is the CCM responsible to check compliance?
  7. Yes, the PES who process all expense reports, will be trained to check for compliance with Iowa Code 80.45A.


  8. How often is the website with approved hotels updated?
  9. The website is updated at a minimum once per day as lodging providers become certified with the Iowa Department of Public Safety.


  10. If we are using meeting space only and not guest rooms, does that change the compliance requirements?
  11. The code section requires compliance for all in-state lodging providers. This means compliance is required when procuring space for hosting conferences, meetings and banquets if that provider is also able to provide lodging services, regardless of whether staying at the site.


  12. If I am attending a conference held at a location that offers lodging, even if I’m not staying at that location, does my registration fee for the conference fall under Iowa Code 80.45A compliance?
  13. If the university is the host of the conference, then yes, compliance is necessary. If an employee is attending a conference that is sponsored by another establishment outside of a public system, then the reimbursement for attendance fees would go to that establishment and not to the event location, in which case this certification would not be needed.


  14. If we have a contract with a hotel that is not on the list, what is the process? Do we reach out personally or is there someone reaching out centrally and we would reach out to that person?
  15. Procurement Services is reaching out to lodging providers with whom ISU is contracted regarding certification and will be requiring compliance with Iowa Code 80.45A as a condition of contracts signed beginning 1/1/22.


  16. If a T and H card was provided for a deposit, or payment was made for a deposit, and the site is not eligible now, what is the process?
  17. If a contract was signed and/or a financial commitment (deposit) was made prior to 1/1/22, compliance is not required.


  18. If the hotel can provide documentation that they are certified, but the website doesn’t reflect this, is their certification sufficient to support payment?
  19. All providers who have certified receive a facility certificate that they are encouraged to post in their lobby. If a copy a valid certification is provided and accompanies the expense report, this will be considered sufficient documentation.


  20. If we can use a fee or conference program to cover, is there a way that we could cover maybe 50% or 75% of the hotel cost on the first submission where the lodging isn’t on the list and then we would cover 0 if there is a second submission?
  21. No. If the lodging provider is not certified, non-state funds must be utilized to cover the full expense.


  22. Do AirBnB and VRBOs have to be certified to accept public funds?
  23. The platforms themselves are “lodging facilitators” pursuant to Iowa Code section 423A.2(1)(g), but the individual hosts would be considered “lodging providers” and thus, would need to be certified to accept public funds.


  24. At what point does money become public funds? Example: If ISU hosts a conference and attendees are from a local school district and they pay the registration fee using their state funds, is that money already marked as state funds?
  25. Anytime the funding source is from state funds, compliance is required. In the example provided, these would be considered state funds.


  26. Does the date of the certification on the website matter? Example: the hotel lists a certification date of 1/21 but the traveler stayed on 1/6 and submits their expense report on 1/14.
  27. Yes, the date of certification should be prior to the date the expense is incurred (in this case the date the traveler stayed).


  28. Can this be linked to the T&H card to reject the charge when trying to do the reservation at a non-compliant hotel?
  29. This functionality does not exist at this time. We plan to explore whether this might be feasible in the future.


  30. If I am using state funds to pay for lodging for people interviewing for university jobs, is it required that the lodging provider be certified?
  31. Yes. If state funds are utilized to pay for the lodging, certification is required.