Sumary of Vegas-area county joins room tax fight against online firms:
- LAS VEGAS (AP) — The county with jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip has joined a legal fight to try to collect what attorneys maintain could be be hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid hotel room taxes owed by more than 20 online travel companies.
- A lawsuit by Clark County echoes claims raised last year by two Las Vegas communications executives against online hotel booking services including Orbitz, Hotwire, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline and Hotels.
- At stake are “hundreds of millions of dollars in room tax revenue that have been avoided by online travel companies for years and years,” Michael Cristalli, an attorney handling both cases, said Tuesday.
- Cristalli and attorney Dominic Gentile also represent communications executives Mark Fierro and Sig Rogich in a case they filed last year making similar consumer fraud and unjust enrichment claims.
- The lawsuits accuse online booking companies of chronically underpaying taxes ranging from 10.5% to 13.38%, calculated as a percentage of gross rental receipts.
- The revenue would benefit tourism, school, transportation and local government general fund accounts, according to the county lawsuit filed May 14 in Clark County District Court.