Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shocker: San Francisco Assessed Expedia's Vacation-Package Business, Too

When and its sibling Hotwire wired in $35.6 million to the City of San Francisco, and when Priceline transmitted its $3.4 million in taxes, penalties and interest today, these assessments included the online travel companies' large vacation-package businesses -- and not just their standalone merchant-model hotel businesses.

When San Francisco compiled its assessments of the OTCs, including Travelocity, it assigned values to the hotel components within air/hotel or air/car/hotel vacation packages, in addition to assessing tax liabilities for solitary hotel sales.

Including the OTCs' vacation-package businesses in these tax disputes makes their potential liabilities, if the city prevails, much larger than I realized.

I have been writing about the hotel-tax issue for five years, and this was the first time I've heard that packages were part of the equation.

For, its standalone hotel business is much larger than its lodging bookings within vacation packages, but including its package business in tax assessments considerably ups the ante.

That is especially true if other tax jurisdictions are calculating assessments in a similar manner.

And, it also providers greater weight to my theory that the City of San Francisco would consider going after tour operators and wholesalers next.

1 comment:

Narconon Arrowhead said...

Wow that is a lot of taxes I wish the city would use some of that money to help with drug rehab