Calif. Agents Oppose New Taxes

Proposed law will require tax payments from agents and tour operators.


The Southern California Chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents (SoCal ASTA), along with the California Coalition of Travel Organizations (CCTO), is urging the California legislature not to adopt a new law that would require travel agents and tour operators to collect and pay taxes to the Franchise Tax Board.

SoCal ASTA is encouraging agents to join them in Sacramento on March 23. // (C) 2010 Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau

SoCal ASTA is encouraging agents to join them in Sacramento on March 23. // (C) 2010 Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau

Under the new legislation, employers would be required to withhold 3 percent of their payments to independent contractors and to pay those funds to the Franchise Tax Board.

“This proposal would be complicated for travel agencies and tour operators to administer, and it would impose potential liability for penalties and amounts wrongly over- or under-withheld,” said CCTO president Stan Jones. “The state should not shift the Franchise Tax Board’s tax collection duties onto small and medium-sized companies, many of whom are already struggling in today’s economic climate.”

Jones and Susan Tanzman, president of Martin’s Travel & Tours in Los Angeles, are SoCal ASTA’s two appointed designees to the CCTO board. The CCTO is also working with California chapters of ASTA, the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Cruise Lines International Association, Signature Travel Network, Ensemble and the Western Association of Travel Agencies to object the proposed legislation.

SoCal ASTA is also encouraging travel agents throughout the state to join them in Sacramento on March 23 to meet and discuss the interests of the travel industry with state legislators. (www.asta.org; www.socalasta.com)

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