Internet Hotel Booking Tax Ruled Invalid | NBC Southern California

Internet Hotel Booking Tax Ruled Invalid

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    A worker repairs lighting on a hotel sign in Beijing Wednesday Dec. 17, 2003. China's tourism industry was devastated by the outbreak of SARS earlier in the year, but has begun a slow recovery. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

    A Los Angeles judge has ruled that online  travel sites such as Expedia do not owe the city of Anaheim $21 million in hotel taxes for rooms booked over the Internet.
     
    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl ruled Monday on the city's dispute with Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and
    others.

    Last year, a city hearing officer found the companies owed Anaheim $21.3 million. The companies asked the judge to set aside
    the finding.

    Such disputes are increasingly common between online travel companies and tourist-dependent cities.

    Anaheim, the home of Disneyland, has a 15 percent hotel tax.

    City officials claim the online companies are paying taxes on wholesale prices they negotiate with hotels, not the full customer
    price.