SAN FRANCISCO -- The California travel industry threw its support
behind a proposal in the state legislature to give tax relief to
travel agencies and other travel companies that have suffered
losses in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
The measure, Senate Bill 1286, was introduced earlier this year
by State Sen. Raymond Hayes (R-Riverside) and is scheduled to be
discussed before the Senate's Revenue and Tax Committee April
It would bring the California tax code in line with current
federal tax law by allowing owners of travel companies to deduct
100% of their net operating losses incurred during the period Sept.
1, 2001 and Jan. 1, 2004, and allow taxpayers to spread those
losses over a 20-year period following the year in which the net
operating loss was deducted.
"It has the potential of enabling travel businesses which were
on the brink of closing to stay in business," said Diane Embree,
president of the California Coalition of Travel Organizations, a
trade group of ASTA chapters, agency groups, tour operators and
other travel firms in the state.
The CCTO, which retains a lobbyist in Sacramento, recently
issued a statement that it will support the Senate bill. It urged
travel agents and others in the industry to write letters in
support to their state legislators.
Embree said that the bill, if passed, could be "very important"
to travel agency owners, providing them with enough financial
relief to rehire laid off employees.