Judge Orders Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline and Others to Pay Lodging Taxes

Last week, Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey issued an injunction forcing online travel companies to begin paying occupancy taxes to the City of Atlanta.  This ruling follows earlier rulings in Columbus, Atlanta, and the Georgia Supreme Court that the internet companies have wrongfully withheld taxes that they had collected from customers and in at least one case that they had refused to provide documents in the litigation in violation of the fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege.  Frohsin & Barger has been hired by the cities of Birmingham, Huntsville, Decatur, Auburn, Madison, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority and won the first round in the litigation earlier this year. Last month, Defendant Orbitz agreed to pay $450,000 to the City of Columbus, Georgia for back-taxes.