Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If Expedia rates go up, thank Columbus, Georgia lost a lawsuit in Columbus this week.

And it might impact you.

You see, Expedia gets rooms at a wholesale rate from hotels. It turns around and sells the rooms to consumers online, charging a higher rate, but a rate that's still lower than, say, you would if you walked up to Mr. Patel and plopped down your VISA card.

Expedia adds on "taxes and fees" that cover the sales tax due on the hotel room. Expedia pays the hotel the tax based on the wholesale rate it paid the hotel (that's the "taxes" part), and pockets the rest (the "fees" part).

But Superior Court Judge Doug Pullen ruled that's not right.

His ruling says Expedia must pay the hotel (which, in turn, pays the city) the taxes based on the rate it sells to the consumer.

Which means less money for Expedia.

How has Expedia responded?

Well, after the lawsuit was filed back in 2006, they quit booking rooms in Columbus. You can get a room in Phenix City, Alabama, just across the river from Columbus. But not in Columbus. From Expedia, that is.

So, how does this impact you?

Maybe not at all.

But then, again, what if other cities find out? And decide they want a piece of the pie?

Well, if Expedia has to start paying ALL cities the taxes based on the final sale price, rather than the wholesale price they pay, then Expedia will charge more.

If companies pay higher taxes, they'll recoup those by charging more to the consumer.

Raise taxes on oil companies, and gas will cost you more.

Raise taxes on corporate profits, and products and services will cost more.

If a company has to pay more tax money for your booking a hotel, that extra cost will be passed along to you. It won't simply go into someone else's pocket; it'll come out of your pocket.


  1. You make a valid point, I don't see anything good coming out of this. If anything I wouldn't be surprised if Columbus has lost in overall tourist income due to this. Someone may end up regretting they started all this.

    On another note, the scariest feeling imaginable now is that due to McCain's age and health there is a risk that the fundamentalist religious nutter Palin with views fit for average 14th century people - could be president. Unbelievable. I'd like to see her understanding the macro economics needed, the ability to guide America in times of war and manage relations with Medvedev, Jintao and Sarkozy etc. Ha. Very likely.

    It's like what Chris Rock said the other weekend, that the very unlikely scenario has arisen: we have two candidates to take over from dubya's reign and neither is any better than him!

  2. Funny that. You make assumptions and get on with it. Nice going, bubble boy. I do my research, how about yourself? Time to get those blinders off and take a good look around.

    No, I wouldn't necessarily believe that Palin-statement to be true, I was more referring to her viewpoints on gun control (or rather less control and simply more guns allowed to ensure more school shootings), rigid anti-abortion views, ideas on future energy politics of Alaska, preventing same sex marriage, global warming and many other items where words come straight from the horse's mouth.

    Or rather from the pig with lipstick, as Obama said (Although being quite the inappropriate statement in that media).

    Palin is scary. This fundamentalist woman of christian extremism, who just like Dubya believes in the divine endorsement of the Iraqi War, acting with the mantra that a "God" was telling her to do it.

    I wouldn't be surprised if she thinks a "God" created the earth too. Lol!

    Yeah, science is just a temporary thing. Just like Internet.

    I feel sorry for her, she ended up in the spotlight and she's a very easy target to make fun of and take down, with her overall lack of knowledge.

    I'm sure she's not an evil person at heart, she probably just been blinded by religion like so many others these days. She has that glassy look in her eyes that scientologists, christians and many other supersticious people have. Lack of confidence(?) meant she needed to find something to believe in.

    There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she.


    She should pack those bags and head on home. With any luck come election day, she will. It'll be good for her.

    I was happy to be able to grace your little weblog with some input from an apparently opposite view than yours, all in good spririt.

    But no, I won't come back after this. Seems useless and I can't really see that you are interested in any rational discussion on either this or the OTA tax issue.

    So you just stay in your bubble and I won't wake you up.

    And yeah, I'm thankful that I AM voting in this election. Good thing we can vote from overseas.

  3. It's called off-topic, bub.

    You want to talk about the Expedia lawsuit, great.

    If you want to talk about Palin and how she doesn't fit your left-wing viewpoint that they tell you believe, find a post here about Palin and whail away.

    Oh, wait. Your left-wing mind won't allow you to stay on topic if it doesn't fit the talking points of the day. My bad.


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