The Maryland House of Delegates introduced a new bill (HB 1628) last week that would reduce the state sales tax rate from 6 percent to 5 percent while expanding taxation to almost all services, including travel agency services.
"While we have no idea how this tax would be applied to travel agencies-on gross receipts, on service or consultation fees, on commissions, etc.-we know it would increase Maryland agencies' cost of doing business by at least 5 percent overnight and put them at a disadvantage with competitors in neighboring states," the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) warned.
According to ASTA, Maryland is home to as many as 276 retail travel agency locations supplying 1,139 full-time jobs. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan vehemently opposed the bill last week, arguing that "it would destroy our economy," per WTOP.
In response to the February 20 proposal that aims to improve funding for education, ASTA has created an online portal for Maryland residents who are opposed to the bill to contact their legislators.
If passed, HB 1628 would take effect on January 1, 2021.
ASTA is no stranger to fighting proposed taxes on travel agencies, recently succeeding with its grassroots campaign in Utah.
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