City of Atlanta v. City of College ParkAnnotate this Case
In 1969, the Cities of Atlanta and College Park entered into an agreement for purposes of expanding Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. One of the provisions of the granted Atlanta the exclusive right to collect and levy occupation taxes from businesses located at the Airport that were within the city limits of College Park. In 2007, after commissioning a study for the purpose of reassessing this relationship, College Park informed Atlanta and Airport businesses that it would no longer honor the 1969 Agreement and that it would seek to collect occupation taxes from the Airport businesses including Atlanta's proprietary business operations. Atlanta filed a declaratory action in seeking a judgment that the 1969 Agreement controlled the collection of occupation taxes from businesses operating at the Airport within College Park. Both Atlanta and College Park moved for partial summary judgment, and, in ruling on the cross motions, the trial court found that Atlanta and College Park's 1969 Agreement was unenforceable. The trial court further ruled that OCGA 48-13-13 (5), which prohibited local governments from levying an occupation tax on any "local authority," precluded College Park from levying an occupation tax on Atlanta's proprietary operations because Atlanta met the definition of a "local authority" under the statute. Both parties appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment invalidating the 1969 Agreement, but reversed the trial court's finding that the term "local authority" as used in OCGA 48-13-13 (5) included smunicipalities. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the Court of Appeals was correct in its determination that the City of Atlanta was not a "local authority" as that term is used in the statute.