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The state of Arkansas on Wednesday joined the 11-year-old class-action lawsuit that seeks to compel internet travel companies that broker hotel rooms to pay rental taxes to local governments.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Robert Hyatt granted the state’s motion to intervene in the lawsuit that includes defendants Hotels.Com, Hotwire Inc., , Expedia Inc., Orbitz LLC, and

The litigation seeks to recoup payment from online travel companies that haven’t paid all taxes due to cities, counties or other commissions for hotel and motel rooms rented at a discount through the companies’ websites.

The state, which imposes a 6.5% tax on hotel rooms and similar temporary lodging, joins plaintiffs Pine Bluff Advertising Commission, Jefferson County and the city of North Little Rock, all represented by the Thrash Law Firm of Little Rock.

The judge has already ruled that the companies are liable for taxes dating back as far as 1995. The online-travel companies appealed the ruling to the Arkansas Supreme Court. The high court dismissed the appeal in December, but the companies can try again.

Print Headline: State joins lawsuit seeking rental taxes

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