As a result of the partial settlement of City of Rome, Hart County, et al v. Hotels.com, et al, a class action lawsuit, Georgia cities and counties that have enacted a hotel-motel tax will begin receiving hotel tax payments from online travel companies.
On June 5, 2012, United States District Court Judge Harold L. Murphy preliminarily approved a partial settlement in the class action excise tax case brought by the City of Rome, Hart County, and other cities and counties against the online travel companies, such as Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline and Orbitz. The tax payments will be from May 16, 2011 and going forward.
The Court set a Class Action Fairness Hearing for August 16, and ordered that any city or county who did not wish to participate must opt out by August 9. The requirements to receive the tax payments are set forth in the Class Action Notice. The partial settlement covers taxes from May 2011 forward only; the issue of back taxes owed from possibly 1999 are still being litigated.
Important dates are included in the Class Action Notice. Also, each county and city will need to provide the following information to the Class Notice Administrator and Class Counsel.
If your city elects to remain a member of the Class and participate in the partial settlement agreement, to receive benefits it must provide the following information to Class Counsel on or before 60 days of Final Approval of the Settlement.
- A list, (updated and current) with the name and physical address, of each licensed hotel/motel operating within your jurisdiction that is subject to hotel taxes from May, 2011 to the present;
- The hotel/motel tax rate(s), and local sales tax rate(s), if any, from May, 2011 to the present for your jurisdiction; and
- Any subsequent changes in the foregoing information must also be submitted to Class Counsel.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact Andy Davis, class notice administrator/class counsel, or Walter Gordon, class counsel. Their contact information is below.
Please review this information with your city attorney as soon as possible.
J. Anderson Davis, Esq.
Brinson, Askew, Berry, Seigler,Richardson & Davis, LLP
Post Office Box 5007
Rome, Georgia 30162-5007
Walter J. Gordon, Esq.
The Gordon Law Firm
County Attorney, Hart County, Ga.
P.O. Box 870
Hartwell, Georgia 30643