T.J. Evans

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In Expedia, Inc. v. City of Columbus, the Georgia Supreme Court held that under a plain reading of the "Hotel-Motel Occupancy Excise Tax" ordinance of Columbus, Georgia, and the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) enabling statute, the applicable tax rate must be applied to the amount an online travel company (OTC) charges a purchaser for the right to occupy a hotel room, rather than the discounted amount for which the OTC contracts with hotels to pay for a room. The supreme court's decision "marks the first time any state's highest court has ruled on the substantive issues at the center of dozens of legal and administrative battles between the OTCs and municipalities around the country."