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Branson Sues Dallas- and Fort Worth-Based Travel Companies. But Will Yakov Smirnoff Take the Stand?

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

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky