Total $0.00


Washington, D.C. – July 27, 2015 The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, today applauded the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals decision requiring online travel companies to pay more than $60 million in unpaid sales taxes and interest to the District of Columbia, asserting that these companies are liable to pay a sales tax on the amount charged to consumers rather than the amount paid to hotels for rooms.


“The ruling by the Washington, D.C. Court of Appeals is great news for taxpayers and the citizens of the District of Columbia,” said Vanessa Sinders, AH&LA Senior Vice President and Head of Government Affairs. “For several years, hoteliers have been working to close tax loopholes so that online transactions, whether they occur through a hotel company’s website or through an online travel company site, are taxed equally. Online travel agencies have been getting a free pass when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes for online transactions. Attorney General Karl Racine and (President of the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C.) Solomon Keene have been leading the charge to close the loophole. This ruling demonstrates a growing commitment to providing marketplace tax equality, as well as ensuring that the taxpayers are not shorted much-needed revenue. AH&LA looks forward to continuing to reinforce this position in local municipalities and states across the country.”


“We are thrilled that online travel companies will be required to pay their fair share of taxes in the District of Columbia,” said Solomon Keene, Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. “This decision not only reinforces our position that these taxes are owed to District taxpayers but hopefully also sends a message to OTCs that the days of misleading consumers are over.”




Online travel companies sell hotel rooms to customers and pay a certain portion of the sales price back to hotels. However, online travel companies typically fail to remit state and local taxes on the amount paid by consumers; rather, they pay taxes only on the portion of the sales price that they pay back to hotels and retain the difference, depriving cities and states of much needed tax revenue. On the other hand, when hotels sell a room directly to the consumer, via their website or through other means, they remit state and local taxes on the rate charged to consumers.

About AH&LA

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.

Contact: Katie Longo

Related News

AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugar's Statement on Senate Passage of Tax Reform Legislation

Hotel Innovators Educate Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Urge Support for Stop Online Booking Scams Act

AHLA and the Better Business Bureau Team Up to Fight Online Hotel Booking Scams

AHLA Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week by Launching Program and Giving $50,000 Grant

AHLA Praises House for Passing Tax Reform

Hotel Industry Teams Up With World Wildlife Fund and The Rockefeller Foundation to Reduce Food Waste

New Study Reveals Tax Reform Could Boost Hotel Industry by $131.7B

AHLA Presents $500,000 Youth Grant to Community-Based Organizations to Open Career Pathways in High-Demand Markets

AHLA President, CEO Katherine Lugar Appointed to Federal Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion

AHLA Applauds Release of Tax Reform Proposal Allows Hotel Industry to Grow, Create New Jobs, Drive Economy

AHLEF Awards Nearly $1 Million in Scholarships to Hospitality Students

AHLA Partners with Department of Labor to Invest in Workforce Development with Registered Apprenticeship Program

New AHLA Research Reveals Online Hotel Booking Scams Are on the Rise, Duping Consumers, Translating to Nearly $4 Billion Each Year

Hotel Industry Praises Department of Labor Decision to Rescind Onerous Joint Employer Guidance

Key Takeaways from AHLA & AAHOA’s Legislative Action Summit 2017

Bipartisan-Supported Brand USA Program Drives $21 Billion in Business Sales, 2 Million Jobs

AHLA Honors Outstanding Hotel Employees and Properties at 2017 Stars of the Industry Celebration

Hundreds of Hoteliers to Descend on Capitol Hill for AHLA, AAHOA Members to Meet With Congressional Leaders

Kevin Carey Appointed as EVP, Chief Operating Officer of AHLA

Online Hotel Booking Scams Cost Americans $1.3 Billion Annually; Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Pushes for More Action to Protect Consumers

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.