ASTA moved quickly to inform all of its Virginia members of the need to contact their state representatives and educate them on the dangers of imposing new taxes on travel. The action helped avert a proposal to apply hotel occupancy taxes to certain travel agency markups for the sale of hotel rooms, ASTA reports.
The new law was being considered by the Finance Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates, which was about to take action on the proposed tax. If passed, the bill would make Virginia the first state in the nation to impose such a tax.
Many agents responded by calling, faxing, and e-mailing their elected officials. On March 2, the committee narrowly voted to postpone consideration of the tax by one year, citing the need for further legislative research. ASTA learned of the action on February 26.
“While the threat has not completely passed, this is a very significant victory for travel agents everywhere—particularly those located in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” ASTA said.
ASTA offered its special thanks to Premium Member and former ASTA Vice President Mary Peters, of Friendly Travel/American Express (Alexandria, VA) for volunteering to drive to Richmond with less than 24 hours’ notice to represent the travel agency industry on this issue.