Travel Tech: Tennessee Travel Industry Threatened By Proposed New Travel Service Tax

   Travel Tech: Tennessee Travel Industry Threatened By Proposed New Travel
                                 Service Tax

State Legislature Considering Punitive New Taxes on Tennessee Travel and
Tourism Industry

PR Newswire

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 8, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In an attempt to impose new
travel service taxes on Tennessee travel and tourism, state Senator Doug
Overbey and state Representatives Art Swann and Steve McDaniel have sponsored
legislation to impose new taxes on travelers who use the services of online
travel companies and brick and mortar travel agents.

The basis of the new tax is an attempt to apply state sales taxes and county
and local hotel occupancy taxes to the service fees of traditional and online
travel agents that facilitate reservations for Tennessee hotel room
transactions, raising prices for consumers, and jeopardizing their ability to
provide consumers travel deals.

The new service taxes, Senate Bill 212 and House Bill 678, directly contradict
decisions made in dozens of states and courts nationwide—including a 2012
decision by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee—which
in recent years have soundly rejected similar travel service taxes as being
unconstitutional.

State legislatures across the nation—such as those in Virginia, Florida,
Texas, Pennsylvania, Utah, Oregon, Missouri, Connecticut, and
Massachusetts—have examined adding new travel taxes in recent years, and have
overwhelmingly recognized that application of these unconstitutional taxes
immediately makes a state less competitive for travel and tourism.

While supporters of the new tax might argue that it is aimed at out-of-state
visitors, this new tax would equally impact Tennessee residents looking to
book their in-state travel through online and traditional travel agents doing
business in Tennessee.

"Local officials have been conned by special interest groups into thinking it
is good public policy to try and enact illegal service taxes that will make
Tennessee less competitive for tourism dollars. They should title this bill,
'The Kentucky Tourism Stimulus Act,'" said Simon Gros, Chairman of Travel
Tech: the Travel Technology Association. 

About Travel Tech

The Travel Technology Association, or Travel Tech, is the association for
online travel companies (OTCs) and global distribution systems (GDSs), and is
dedicated to connecting consumers and travel providers, eliminating barriers
to travel and protecting consumers. Travel Tech's members include: Amadeus,
Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide, Priceline, Sabre Holdings, Travelport and
Vegas.com.



SOURCE The Travel Technology Association

Contact: Robin Reck, Director of Communications, +1-202-870-8924,
rreck@traveltechnologyassociation.org