A bill in the Texas legislature that would have applied new taxes and fees to any markups that advisors charge clients on Texas hotel bookings has not been passed, ASTA said.

The Society said it launched a "vigorous campaign" against House Bill 3579. Members met with legislators, made phone calls and sent emails. According to ASTA, over 1,000 messages were sent through its online grassroots portal.

Late last month, the legislature adjourned without sending the bill to the governor, but not before ASTA member influences were felt, the Society said.

When the measure was under consideration by the Texas House, Rep. Eddie Lucio (D-27) introduced an amendment that would have exempted agencies earning less than $250,000 in "annual receipts for securing rooms or spaces in hotels for others." That would have protected most agencies, ASTA said. Lucio had been contacted by two employees of the Leisure Travel Alliance in Austin: director of member sales and services Dennis Acosta and vice president Bobby Godwin. 

The Society also worked with others on the bill, including American Express Travel & Lifestyle Services, Ensemble Travel Group, Hickory Global Partners, Signature Travel Network, Travel Leaders Group, Virtuoso, Nexion and Frosch.

"Thanks to our collective efforts this spring, agencies in Texas and across the country -- members and non-members alike -- will pay millions less in tax every year," said Eben Peck, ASTA's executive vice president of advocacy. "Advocating for travel advisors at all levels of government is a core part of ASTA's mission, and anyone who wants to be part of this unified effort should join ASTA today."

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