Tax online travel at retail rates

How can online travel companies get away with a hotel tax dodge?

Anne Arundel County has concurred with the view expressed by The Sun ("A room with a tax," Feb.19) regarding the fairness of online travel companies applying the sales tax to the retail sales price, not their wholesale purchase price.

As county executive, I secured the support of the County Council for legislation in 2011 that applied the hotel occupancy tax to online travel companies based on the retail, not the wholesale price. The county has now raised revenue for several years that had previously been uncollected and has supported the pro-business principle that there should be an even playing field for actual hotels and motels and the online travel companies.

John R. Leopold, Pasadena

The writer is a former county executive of Anne Arundel County.

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