Wednesday, May 2, 2012
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Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE -- A federal lawsuit settlement could bring a boost to Gwinnett after online travel companies agreed to pay an increase in hotel/motel taxes.
The lawsuit, which was brought by several cities and counties in Georgia in 2005, said the companies should pay taxes based on what the company charges customers for the room, not at the rate in which the company buys it.
On Tuesday, commissioners agreed to a partial settlement, where the travel companies agreed to pay the incremental difference in room rates for a period beginning May 16, 2011 and ending with the final resolution of the lawsuit. County officials did not release how much revenues Gwinnett will receive from disbursements, which will be based upon calculations of the number of rooms at issue and the hotel/motel tax rate during that period.
"The county thought it was important to be part of this lawsuit as a matter of fairness," Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said in a press release. "The hotel/motel tax is an important source of revenue for promoting tourism in Gwinnett, which in turn attracts more visitors to spend money in our community's restaurants, shopping centers, and attractions."
The partial settlement of the class action lawsuit is subject to approval by the presiding federal district judge, the release noted.