Jury awards $20M in hotel tax dispute

November 3, 2009 12:14:50 PM PST
A jury has awarded $20 million to more than 170 Texas cities in a dispute over online booking companies and hotel occupancy taxes. The class-action suit was brought by cities in an effect to collect tourism tax revenue allegedly underpaid by Internet hotel room wholesalers.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday that an example was online companies booking blocks of rooms at $75 a night, reselling them for $100, then paying taxes on the lower rate.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Expedia said it's disappointed with the jury's verdict against it and other online travel companies. The company intends to appeal.

The verdict was returned Friday in San Antonio, where the 2006 lawsuit was originally filed.

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