Maryland General Assembly passes sales tax bill for travel websites


The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation Wednesday that would make online travel companies pay more sales tax on Maryland hotel bookings. Whether it is actually going to come to fruition remains to be seen. Supporters of the new bill say they currently are able to avoid paying the full amount. The House of Delegates voted 84-56 on Wednesday. The bill cleared the Senate earlier, and is now on its way to Governor Larry Hogan. Those who oppose say that it amounts to a new tax on travel websites. Steve Shur, president of the Travel Technology Association, stated that the measure will raise taxes on more than two hundred of Maryland’s small businesses (as well as travelers who utilize online travel agents). But supporters say the bill would just merely close a loophole in Maryland law. That loophole would allow online travel companies to pay less in sales tax on hotel bookings than the hotels themselves are required to charge when the same room is booked directly with them. And while Hogan has not determined whether he plans to sign the bill, spokesman Matt Clark said that they have been very clear about their feelings on tax increases.


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