An entire city has filed a lawsuit against, among others, Dallas-based Hotels.com and Fort Worth-based Travelocity.com "for back taxes the city claims the companies never paid on hotel room bookings," reports the Associated Press today. And the name of that city? Why, lookie here, y'all, it's none other than good ol' Branson, Missouri -- home of the Jim Stafford Theatre, "Red Skelton: A Tribute by Tom Mullica," "Siegfried & Roy Present Darren Romeo: The Voice of Magic," the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre and other shows, venues and performances best described as, well, taxing.
The suit, filed in Missouri last week, alleges that Hotels.com and Travelocity.com and 13 other Internet travel services either failed to collect those 4 percent hotel-room taxes or actually did collect 'em and kept 'em for theyselves. Suits like these, though, have become pretty commonplace -- to the point where, in May of last year, the Rocky Mountain News ran an editorial trying to convince Denver not to file such a suit. "Dubious," the paper called these suits, several of which have been dismissed. I'd be cool if this went to trial, though, if only Mel Tillis were forced to t-t-t-t-testify. Yeah, that joke woulda been real funny in, like, 1975. --Robert Wilonsky
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.