Hilton Head reaches settlement with websites over bed taxes

Discussion in 'Blogstand' started by SC Flier, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Exceprt from the IslandPacket.com:

    The Town of Hilton Head Island last week netted more than $300,000 in a settlement resolving a dispute with a dozen discount travel websites over local taxes paid on hotel rooms.​

    The town announced the details Monday after Town Council voted April 19 to settle its suit against national online hotel booking sites, including Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity.com and Priceline.com.​

    The online resellers of hotel rooms agreed to pay $562,500, with the town retaining $348,143 after attorneys' fees and expenses.​

    In a series of lawsuits, Hilton Head and other South Carolina municipalities claimed companies were not paying the correct amount of accommodations taxes.​

    The town charges 3 percent in local accommodations taxes on short-term lodging and gets a share of the state's 2 percent bed tax. The tax money is used on tourism-related expenses, such as beach renourisment, festivals, events and marketing the island.​

    The settlement comes after the S.C. Supreme Court established in January that the total amount charged a person by booking sites for short-term lodging, including fees and charges, is the sum on which taxes are owed. Mayor Drew Laughlin said the court decision expedited the settlement with the town.​


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