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Online Travel Agencies Handed Defeat in Wyoming Over Lodging Taxes

Apr 04, 2014 9:10 am

Skift Take

With the exception of Hawaii, online travel agencies have been winning most of the battles these days. While Wyoming isn’t New York, the loss will cause them to consternation as they consider their appeals strategy.

— Jason Clampet

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The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled the state can collect the full tax amount on retail lodging sales made by online travel companies, even if they have no physical presence in the state.

The ruling on Thursday affirms a decision by State Board of Equalization in 2013.

An attorney who represented seven online travel companies, including Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Hotwire, Orbitz, Cheaptickets and Hotels.com, argued that the online companies should not be seen as vendors because they do not actually grant reservations or sell rooms.

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports the companies had hoped to continue the practice of collecting and remitting taxes to the state based on lower rates that they negotiate with the hotels instead of the higher prices offered to consumers.

Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, http://www.wyomingnews.com

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