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Lawmakers stir travel industry furor over taxing online hotel bookings
Lawmakers stir travel industry furor over taxing online hotel bookings

Legislation aimed at changing how online travel companies pay taxes on Maryland hotel bookings is roiling the business community, pitting big chains like Bethesda-based Marriott International against Internet giants such as Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline. It's also upsetting small travel agencies, who fear they're going to be hurt in the tug of war. Proponents say the bill would close a loophole in Maryland law that allows online travel companies to pay less in sales tax on hotel bookings than the hotels themselves must charge when the same room is booked directly with them. After passing the Senate this week by a vote of 32-15, the measure is scheduled for a House hearing...

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