A San Antonio jury has returned a
Booking sites named as defendants include Hotels.com, Expedia.com, Priceline.com, Hotwire.com, Lodging.com, Orbitz.com, Site59.com and the gnome's home Travelocity.com. The online bookers reportedly will appeal.
What will happen in the next courtroom is anybody's guess. The San Antonio jury actually gave each side a bit of a victory.
The jury decided that the online reservations
companies do "control hotels" in Texas and therefore are responsible
collecting hotel-occupancy taxes.
However, jurors did not agree with the cities' contention that the hotels were collecting the taxes and not paying them to the taxing jurisdictions.
More legal action pending: The state of Texas has an administrative claim against the
online booking companies, but has not yet filed suit.
A similar action is planned in California.
But Florida isn't waiting any longer.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Bill McCollum sued Expedia and Orbitz, claiming they failed to pay the Sunshine State the full amount of taxes collected on hotel room rentals made through their Web sites.