MACo Urges Fair and Equitable Treatment of Hotel Taxes

Michael Sanderson, MACo Executive Director, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in support of HB 1065, with amendments, on March 11, 2015. HB 1065, Sales and Use Tax – Taxable Price – Accommodations, would impose a State Sales and Use Tax on the full price paid to an online travel website for the cost of a hotel room, not the wholesale rate the travel website pays to a hotel. MACo would like to amend the bill to extend the same principle to any local hotel tax.

The written testimony states:

The tax treatment of online travel companies has been a county concern as this represents a growing share of short term bookings. In Maryland and elsewhere, many counties have pursued litigation to reach fixed-term settlements with online travel companies to repay unpaid hotel taxes. This is not an efficient way to manage government revenues, nor does it leave a “level playing field” across comparable providers. HB 1065, if amended to include local hotel taxes, would establish fair and equitable tax treatment of hotel rooms for both state and local taxation purposes.

The cross file of this bill, SB 190, was heard in Senate Budget and Taxation Committee on February 11, 2015.  

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.