SAN ANTONIO – In a March 13 story about a proposed judgment in a lawsuit brought by Texas communities who say several online travel companies owe them hotel occupancy taxes, The Associated Press erroneously reported that U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered the companies to pay the communities $55 million. The two sides submitted a proposed judgment for that amount, but Garcia isn’t expected to rule on the proposal until April.
Lawyers for 11 online travel companies and more than 170 Texas cities have agreed on a proposed $55 million judgment in a dispute over hotel occupancy taxes.
U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia of San Antonio on March 12 accepted the proposal on possible total damages and interest in the 2006 class-action case. Garcia had asked both sides to agree on an amount before he enters his final judgment in April.
Jurors in 2009 ordered $20 million in back taxes to be paid to the cities but the figure was expected to increase as penalties and interest were added.
The lawsuit to recover tourism tax revenue named online travel groups including Expedia Inc., Hotwire Inc., Hotels.com, Priceline.com and Orbitz Worldwide Inc. The companies maintain all required taxes had been paid.
A statement from the Travel Technology Association says the companies plan to continue their appeals.