Online travel companies ordered to pay another $70M

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Reeling from a $150 million tax ruling in January, the nation's largest online travel companies were ordered to pay another $70 million in penalties to the state of Hawaii.

State Tax Judge Gary Chang ruled yesterday that Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and other Internet companies must pay a 50 percent penalty on the back taxes they owe.

The travel companies had argued that they're not subject to Hawaii general excise taxes and plan to appeal Chang's decisions.

The state has argued that online companies owed back taxes on more than $2.7 billion dollars in business that they conducted in Hawaii dating back to 2000.

In January, Judge Chang ruled that the companies owed the state $150 million in back taxes and interest but he left open the penalties owed until yesterday's ruling.

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State: Online firms owe $500 million

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