Hotel booking taxes continue to climb 

The amount of money San Francisco has received from online hotel-booking sites has increased to $54 million, according to the City Controller’s Office, but it can't spend it.

Last summer, the city collected $35 million from two online hotel-booking companies, including Expedia and Hotwire. Priceline and Travelocity have also paid back taxes totally close to $6 million. The four companies filed a lawsuit against the city asking for the money back. That lawsuit is still pending in court, officials said.

Until then, The City won’t spend any of the money it has collected from the online hotel-booking sites, which includes others that city officials could not name because they are not part of the lawsuit.

The online companies pay for hotel rooms at a negotiated rate before selling them at a higher price. For years, the companies have been paying taxes on the amount they pay for the room, not the amount the consumers paid for the room.

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Erin Sherbert

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