ASTA looks to fight proposed tax on travel advisors

ASTA looks to fight proposed tax on travel advisors in Connecticut.

Connecticut is looking at taxing travel advisors for their services. Gov. Ned Lamont introduced his 2020-2021 budget in mid-February, which proposes to tax “travel arrangement and scenic transportation.”

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The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is vowing the fight the proposed tax, and has already worked with its members to fight similar proposals in Illinois, Maine, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. According to ASTA, they have saved those states “over $62.6 million a year collectively in new taxes.

“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 of Advocacy. “We applaud both their efforts and these state legislators’ decisions to drop these proposals from their budgets.”

ASTA estimates that the taxes imposed for Illinois would have cost travel advisors and agencies $22.2 million each year in taxes, $994,000 in Maine, $23.2 million in Ohio, and $16.2 million in Pennsylvania.

“In state after state, these proposals were stripped out of the budget, with Pennsylvania the last state to resolve its budget process when Governor Wolf signed a revenue package with no new taxes on agents on October 30,” ASTA said.

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ASTA managed grassroots campaign in each of the four states, and is looking to do the same in Connecticut.

“The hard work of ASTA members in Illinois, Maine, Ohio and Pennsylvania ensures that agencies in those states won’t be slapped with almost $63 million collectively in new taxes every year,” said Peck. “Advocating for travel agents at all levels of government is a core part of ASTA’s mission, and anyone who wants to be part of this unified effort should join ASTA today.”

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