ASTA Looks to Repeat Success on Proposed Travel Agent Taxes

by Jessica Montevago
ASTA Looks to Repeat Success on Proposed Travel Agent Taxes

The group is leading a grassroots campaign against state sales taxes to travel agency services in Connecticut. Photo: Shutterstock


American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is leading a grassroots campaign against state sales taxes to travel agency services in Connecticut.

Governor Ned Lamont’s 2020 budget proposes to expand the state's 6.35 percent sales tax to personal and professional services, including "travel arrangement and reservation services." It's unclear whether the tax would be applied to agency gross sales or only to service fees and markups charged to clients.

Connecticut has 236 retail travel agencies, contributing 1,750 full-time jobs, according to ASTA.

The tax plan would generate about $371 million in revenue in 2020 and $652.6 million in 2021, without raising the overall sales tax rate of 6.35 percent, Lamont told lawmakers, as well as modernizing the state’s tax code as it is about generating revenue.

ASTA estimates it would produce more than $7,600 in taxes for each travel agency in Connecticut. “It would certainly increase Connecticut agencies' cost of doing business and put them at a disadvantage with out-of-state agencies,” ASTA said.

It urged state residents to contact the governor and legislators through its grassroots portal, to remove the tax on travel advisor services from the budget.

ASTA has successfully campaigned against similar taxes in Illinois, Maine, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 2017, the governors of Illinois, Maine, Ohio, and Pennsylvania proposed expanding their state sales taxes to travel agency service, saving agencies in those states over $62.6 million a year collectively in new taxes. It enlisted members through legislative updates, calls to action, talking points and other grassroots resources provided by the association, led by chapter presidents.

“Expanding state sales taxes to travel agency services would have been devastating to our industry, and in defeating these proposals in four states – guided by headquarters – ASTA members have set the gold standard for grassroots engagement,” said Eben Peck, ASTA Executive Vice President, Advocacy, at the time. “We applaud both their efforts and these state legislators’ decisions to drop these proposals from their budgets.”

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

“There is no way you can be an expert in all areas, so invest in yourself to know the destinations and products you decide to sell. Find a system that works for you and then duplicate it.” - Lindsay Foerster, Travel Advisor

Daily Top List

Largest Airports in the World by Passenger Numbers

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

2. Beijing Capital International Airport

3. Dubai International Airport

4. Los Angeles International Airport

5. Tokyo Haneda Airport

Source: InternationalAirportReview

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Personality Is Key to Crafting a Compelling Personal Brand
Personality Is Key to Crafting a Compelling Personal Brand

If you were a car, what type of car would you be? It’s not a crazy question. The car you drive usually reflects your personality, and understanding your personality is essential to creating your personal brand.

Why You Need an NDA When Selling Your Business
Why You Need an NDA When Selling Your Business

If there is no non-disclosure agreement in place, the information you share with prospective buyers can be provided to others without limit, putting your business and privacy at risk.

Can Advisors Sell Travel Through Instagram?
Can Advisors Sell Travel Through Instagram?

A favorite social media network for travel bloggers, influencers and professional advisors, Instagram is trying to become an ecommerce platform.

Big Changes Coming to Out-of-Country Travel Health Insurance Coverage for Canadians
Big Changes Coming to Out-of-Country Travel Health Insurance Coverage for Canadians

Ontario will no longer cover out-of-country travel health insurance. Here are answers to three important questions that impact travel advisors in Ontario – and across Canada.

Apple Leisure Group Addresses Travel Advisor Concerns
Apple Leisure Group Addresses Travel Advisor Concerns

Apple has named a chief human resources officer, to help blend the corporate cultures to better unite all of the brands under the OneALG.

Travel Advisors Cope with Cuba Uncertainty
Travel Advisors Cope with Cuba Uncertainty

The Trump administration ‘expects to issue new regulatory amendments’ regarding travel to Cuba — leaving travel advisors to come up with strategies on their own.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Agents - Thank You!