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Atlanta Attys. Get $3,600 Tax Refund, But Asked to Give It Back

Posted Apr 13, 2007 12:32 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Atlanta attorneys are expected to get a refund of about $3,600 each in occupation taxes they paid between 1996 and 2004. Because of a drafting loophole, the state supreme court found in 2003 that the tax was unconstitutional as applied to lawyers.

After years of class action litigation, the city agreed to pay the refunds -- and $6 million in fees to the plaintiffs' counsel, according to the Fulton County Daily Report. However, the Atlanta Bar Association is urging attorneys either to waive the payment or donate it to charity.

"We practice law in the city, and the solvency and the success of the city is as important to lawyers as it is to anyone else," said president Richard B. Herzog. "If the tax law hadn't been improperly drafted, lawyers would have been subject to it like anyone else."

He has no problem, however, with class counsel collecting the fee award, the publication reports.

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