Appeals Court Tosses Tax Case That Would Have Meant Millions for Texas Cities

In 2009 a federal jury ruled that, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline and other companies that book online hotel reservations owed Dallas, San Antonio and 173 other Texas cities tens of millions of dollars in unpaid or underpaid hotel occupancy taxes. Dallas alone stood to receive around $10 million of a $55-million win, plus many millions more in interest and penalties.It's a good thing city hall never spent a single cent of that award, because it was just rescinded by a federal appeals court.On Wednesday, more than 11 years after San Antonio filed the original suit and more than nine years after the case became a massive class action, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated that verdict. The appeals court sided with the online travel companies, or OTCs, which have long maintained they don't own the rooms they're booking, which means they're not on the hook for the full amount of the hotel occupancy taxes cities maintain they are owed.   Continue reading...

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