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Tennessee Legislature Takes Another Pass on a New Travel Tax

         Tennessee Legislature Takes Another Pass on a New Travel Tax

For a second year, legislators place online travel tax on the chopping block

PR Newswire

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 20, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Travel Tech: The Travel
Technology Association applauds the wisdom of the Tennessee Senate State and
Local Government Committee for voting "no" on Senate Bill 212, which would
have created new taxes on brick-and-mortar and online travel services. Online
travel companies (OTCs), Tennessee travel agents, anti-tax organizations,
independent Tennessee hoteliers, business travelers, internet coalitions and
other groups were among those who raised concerns about the impact of the
proposal.

Tennessee joins a number of other states in the last two years, including
Florida, Virginia, Utah, Oregon, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Mexico
that have considered and rejected similar taxes as unworkable and harmful to
tourism and job creation. This marks the second consecutive year that the
Tennessee Senate has recognized these taxes as bad policy for Tennessee. A
federal court in Goodlettsville, TN, also sided with the OTCs in 2012, holding
they were already in compliance with Tennessee tax law.

"We hope the bill supporters in Tennessee now recognize that they were led
astray by interest groups looking to use public policy as a competitive tactic
to impose new taxes on traditional travel agents and OTCs alike," said Simon
Gros, Chairman of Travel Tech. "OTCs and traditional travel agents are in the
business of encouraging travel to places like Tennessee, which creates real
jobs and real tax revenue."

The bills would have also imposed major compliance burdens for local
businesses in Tennessee. Any Tennessee-based travel agent who used the
fee-for-service merchant model for bookings and assembling travel packages
would have had to take on the unprecedented responsibility of calculating and
remitting the tax owed in multiple taxing jurisdictions. These added
compliance costs would have placed particular strain on traditional
brick-and-mortar travel agents, who already operate in a business climate
marked by extremely low margins.

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, Travelocity, Travelport and Vegas.com.

SOURCE The Travel Technology Association

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