Supreme Court of California

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In re: Transient Occupancy Tax Cases, 218400

In an action brought by online travel companies (OTCs) challenging the City of San Diego's transient occupancy tax, which is calculated as a percentage of the 'Rent charged by the Operator' of the hotel, San Diego Mun. Code section 35.0103, the Court of Appeal's judgment is affirmed where under the San Diego ordinance, in a 'merchant model' transaction of the sort at issue here, the operator of a hotel is liable for tax on the wholesale cost plus any additional amount for room rental the operator requires the OTC to charge the visitor under what have been termed 'rate parity' provisions of hotel-OTC contracts but, as San Diego has effectively conceded, OTCs are not operators within the meaning of the ordinance.

Appellate Information

  • Argued
  • Submitted
  • Decided
  • Published 2016/12/12




  • Supreme Court of California


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