Wed., July 14, 2010 11:23am (EDT)

Columbus Wins Higher Hotel Taxes
By Rickey Bevington
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Orbitz has settled a lawsuit with the city of Columbus over hotel sales tax rates. (photo courtesy Kristie Wells)
Orbitz has settled a lawsuit with the city of Columbus over hotel sales tax rates. (photo courtesy Kristie Wells)
Orbitz.com has agreed to list Columbus hotels on its travel website.

It comes as part of a settlement between the company and the city.

The deal comes three years after Columbus sued Orbitz and two other on-line travel sites over taxes.

The plaintiff alleged that Orbitz, Expedia, and Hotels.com were buying hotel rooms at one price and paying those sales taxes, then re-selling the rooms at a higher price without giving Columbus the higher tax revenue.

Orbitz.com has disputed that was happening.

The Georgia Supreme Court already ruled against Expedia and Hotels.com, and Columbus attorney Neil Pope says that may have influenced Orbitz’s decision.

"Orbitz may not have wanted to be the third ones to have the Supreme Court rule against them. But as to why they chose to settle that’s in their minds not ours."

Under the settlement, Orbitz agrees to pay money to release all claims in the case, and Columbus agrees not to sue Orbitz for a certain period time.

The monetary terms of the settlement are not public.

Expedia and Hotels.com don’t list Columbus hotels, and the city's lawsuit seeking back taxes is still pending.