• 1ST INFINITI JX ROLLS OFF TENN ASSEMBLY LINE: SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — The first Infiniti JX produced in Tennessee has rolled off the assembly line.
The emerald green model was presented Monday at the Nissan assembly plant in Smyrna southeast of Nashville.
The company describes it as a seven-passenger luxury crossover with three rows of seating. The Nissan website lists the suggested retail price as $40,450 or $41,550 depending on the model.
Meanwhile, Nissan plans to hire 1,000 new workers for the Smyrna plant to make the Infiniti JX on a second shift, The Tennessean reported.
Nissan says the JX is the first luxury car built in Tennessee. It goes on sale at dealerships in mid-March.
Engines for the car are built in Decherd, Tenn.
• ONLINE TRAVEL COMPANIES FIGHT PORTLAND HOTEL TAX: PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Ten online travel companies have gone to court in Portland to fight an effort by local officials to collect millions in hotel tax revenue.
The city of Portland hired a law firm in October to collect an estimated $5 million to $8 million in back taxes, The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/xEYQiQ). Future revenues were estimated at up to $1 million a year.
The companies have asked a Multnomah County judge to declare that local taxes do not apply to their businesses because they are not hotel operators.
They also argued in a 22-page complaint that trying to collect taxes on online hotel reservations violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“Defendants cannot impose the local taxes at issue here on plaintiffs for services provided outside the City and County and where the bulk of the transactions in question are for travelers located outside those jurisdictions,” the complaint says.
Although similar disputes across the country have had mixed results, city attorneys said their chances of winning were “moderate to high.” If that’s wrong, the litigation could cost the city an estimated $400,000.