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Hawaii judge rules against online travel companies

Hawaii’s attorney general says a tax appeals court judge has ruled in favor of the state against nine popular travel sites.

Tax Appeal Court Judge Gary Chang entered his final judgment on Thursday, saying the companies including Orbitz Worldwide Inc. and Expedia Inc. owe Hawaii an additional $25 million for statutory interest on tax penalties.

The attorney general says the nine companies now owe about $246 million in taxes, penalties and interest for unpaid taxes from 2000 to 2011.

The state says the ruling will generate $30 million in annual general excise tax collections for Hawaii if upheld.

The state says the companies took in more than $2.7 billion in revenue in Hawaii between 2000 and 2011.

The companies are based in states including Washington, Texas, Illinois and Connecticut.

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