The American Bus Association has formed a coalition with the National Tour Association and the United Motorcoach Association to file a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. Superior Court to stop the city from collecting trip “permit fees” from each motorcoach entering the city.
For each “trip permit” fee, operators must surrender $50 per coach for each six-day period, or up to $2,200 per year for each bus. The lawsuit claims that the fees violate D.C. law and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and seeks a declaratory order, a permanent injunction against collection of the fees and refunds of any fees that are collected.
The tourism tax on bus operators could result in less visitor-generated local spending, meaning a decline in tax revenues collected by area retail businesses overall, according to the coalition. Traffic congestion in the city could also worsen as a result of this measure, coalition officials say, as each full motorcoach is estimated to take up to 55 cars off the road.