Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2009/03/23 15:43
A ruling by Georgia's top court has revived a lawsuit by the city of Atlanta claiming it's been shortchanged out of "untold" millions in taxes by online travel companies.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruling Monday throws out an appeals court's dismissal of the lawsuit and sends it back to a lower court.
Atlanta claims Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia and 14 other online travel companies owe millions in unpaid taxes. Similar challenges have been filed by Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Branson, Mo.
The lawsuits challenge pricing schemes in which consumers are charged a higher price than what the sites pay hotels for the rooms, allowing the sites to pocket service fees. The taxes are paid on that cheaper rate — and cities say they're deprived of millions in revenues.