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NY's top court upholds NYC hotel tax on marketers

The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg could be a holiday attraction. Photo via Wythe Hotel website.

Associated Press

The state's top court says New York City can impose its nearly 6 percent hotel occupancy tax on booking services.

The Court of Appeals says state lawmakers in 1970 gave the city broad authority to enact the tax, rejecting arguments by Expedia, Priceline and other third-party travel marketers that their service fees don't constitute room rent.

In a 5-2 ruling Thursday that reverses a midlevel court, the higher court's majority says the city measure taxes payments for occupancy, which includes those fees.

Dissenters say the fees paid to the travel companies for helping find a room and facilitating the booking aren't the same as room rent, and the city lacks additional authority to tax them.

November 21, 2013 - 1:15pm


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