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Business Travel Coalition Protests NYC Tax

July 30, 2009 By: George Dooley

The Business Travel Coalition (BTC) has written to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg urging Bloomberg to repeal Int. No. 1012 extending the City’s Hotel Occupancy Tax to corporate travel departments.

"This law will immediately transform New York City into a less desirable convention and meeting destination because of additional costs, administrative complexity and marketplace confusion,” BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell said, calling the tax a recipe for economic disaster. “Industry stakeholders were not given an opportunity to provide expert comment on this new law. The legal obligations, accounting complexities and audit and compliance requirements alone are overwhelming to contemplate. Add higher taxes to that and you have a recipe for economic disaster for New York as a business travel and meetings destination. Organizations worldwide will drive business to other cities because of this new tax. NYC hotels will lose existing business during an unparalleled downturn in business travel demand; the city will lose jobs and revenues."

BTC represents the interests of major corporations and organizations in North America and Europe that annually purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of hotel rooms and convention space in New York City.

“We hope you will repeal this dreadful new law and instead focus on policies and communications that demonstrate that the city's Welcome Mat is out for business travelers and meetings and conventions from around the world," Mitchell said. "Please do not take the city back to the bad old days of the 1980's, when ill-considered tourism tax policy turned travelers away from New York City in droves."


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