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NH sues online travel companies for chiseling on rooms and meals tax

ONCORD - The state is suing several of the major online travel companies for failing to pay the state's rooms and meals tax.

The suit filed in Merrimack County Superior Court Thursday, contends Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and other online travel companies failed to pay the full amount of rooms and meals tax revenues due the state for overnight accommodations and vehicle rentals.

The levy imposes a 9 percent tax on the retail price paid by consumers for overnight accommodations and vehicle rentals.

New Hampshire and a number of other states claim the companies pay rooms and meals taxes based on the lower wholesales rates they pay hotels and car rental companies, but charge consumers 'taxes and fees' based on the higher retail rates they pay for the rooms and vehicles.

The on-line companies retain the difference and dodge a significant tax liability owed to states and local governments.

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