Monday, March 23, 2009

Georgia Supreme Court: Hotels.com, others might have to pay sales tax

From the Georgia Supreme Court's opinion's summary:
The City of Atlanta’s lawsuit against Hotels.com and other online travel companies is being sent back to the trial court under a ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court. In a 5-to-2 decision, the high court has thrown out an opinion by the Georgia Court of Appeals and remanded the case with instructions. In 2006, the City sued 17 online companies, which also included Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. The City claimed that as sellers of Atlanta hotel rooms, the companies operate as hotels and therefore must collect hotel and occupancy tax from their customers and pay it to the City. The companies moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the City rushed into court before exhausting certain administrative remedies, as required by state and city laws. The Fulton County trial court agreed and dismissed the City’s complaint, based on the “doctrine of exhaustion.” The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal.

But in today’s majority decision, written by Presiding Justice Carol Hunstein, the high court has sent the case back to the Court of Appeals and ordered it to direct the trial court to decide whether the companies are subject to the hotel occupancy tax.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Going by the latest reports regarding the hotels in Bangalore, the hospitality industry of the city is about to see serious growth and development in the coming times. Bangalore was one of the cities that had seen unprecedented growth and development owing to the boom of the IT sector and before long it became one of the most important IT hubs of not only India but also of the world. As such the number of business travelers to Bangalore also increased and hence important names in the hospitality industry opened up exclusive business hotels in Bangalore. Soon Bangalore became one of the most important commercial hubs of India and hence it saw rapid infrastructural growth and development. However, following the economic slump, not only the IT sector and overall business suffered, but also the hospitality sector received setback. Most obviously the occupancy rates for the budget hotels in Bangalore declined. However, the recent reports predict that India is still the place to be as far as development from all ends in concerned. Business will soon be bustling in India and the hospitality industry has also somewhat overcome the slump and the reports predicting growth have come as a breather.