Judge rules that OTAs owe Hawaii $150 million in taxes, interest
by Danny King and Shane Nelson
A Hawaii tax appeals court judge has ruled that online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline owe the state about $150 million in what the judge says are unpaid back taxes and interest relating to revenue from online hotel bookings.
Judge Gary Chang said the OTAs owe about $110 million in unpaid general excise taxes and another $40 million in interest. The taxes apply to the more than $2.7 billion in Hawaii hotel room sales made by online travel companies since 2000, suggesting that OTAs withheld about 4% of the room revenue they've booked during the past dozen years from state coffers. ...