March 31 - Industry Letter To MD Governor Hogan Re New Travel Tax

March 31, 2015


The Honorable Larry Hogan

Governor of Maryland

Annapolis, MD 21401

Dear Governor Hogan,

We the undersigned travel distributors and organizations that purchase millions of dollars in transient, meetings and conventions-related hotel rooms write to urge you to reject SB190/HB1065, a new sales tax on fees for services provided by travel agencies in the booking of hotel rooms. This new tax would be passed on to corporate, university and government travel departments along with travel agencies’ significant new costs for legal obligations and accounting complexities as well as for audit and compliance requirements.

Travel and meeting managers, including state government travel offices and state universities, are under great pressure to watch every penny of travel spend. All of these administrative costs would be on top of the new tax and would be translated into higher transaction fees from the travel agency to the travel department. As such, a double incentive would have been created to choose a less expensive destination than Maryland, if possible. If not possible, there would be less money to spend in Baltimore or Annapolis on restaurants and entertainment negatively impacting jobs and economic activity.

Not only would this bill result in downward pressure on demand for lodging properties of all sizes, it would do harm to Maryland’s 1,100 travel agencies most of which are small businesses endeavoring to scratch out a living for themselves and their employees. Smaller agencies simply do not have the infrastructure to handle these kinds of requirements and many would not be able to compete with larger agencies that do. So, the playing field would get tilted in favor of the largest agencies.

We expect that you understand very well the incentive new taxes and administrative costs would provide our and other organizations to reconsider the great state of Maryland as a business travel destination.


American Express Global Business Travel

Independent Lodging Industry Association

Teamsters National Airline Division

American Society of Travel Agents

Business Travel Coalition


World Travel, Inc.

Tower Travel Management


The Related Companies

Dollar Tree

Anthony Travel, Inc.


Global Point Travel Solutions

Road Concierge

Up and Away Travel



Antietam Travel Service, Inc.


Safe Harbors Travel Group, Inc.

LXR Travel

Cruise Ventures, Inc.

Geraci Travel

Accent Travel Int'l

Hess Travel

International Travel Management

Ed Perkins, Consumer Advocate

Travel Audit

Sun Travel

Travel-On, Ltd.

A & I Travel Management, Inc.

Carroll Travel

Berger Travel Agency, Inc.

El Sol Travel, Inc.

Travel One, Inc.

World Travel Service

Elite Tours and Travel

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