Nossaman Secures Significant Appellate Wins to Overcome Election Challenge and Save Millions for LA County
Nossaman LLP represented the County of Los Angeles in two significant decisions related to the County's hotel tax and landfill tax, the second of which was handed down just yesterday. The cases brought into question millions of dollars of taxes collected over the past twenty years, which have funded general fund services, such as parks, libraries, senior services and law enforcement. When confronted with the initial suit, a putative class action filed in 2011 involving the hotel tax, the County successfully defended the claim establishing plaintiff's lack of standing to sue. While this initial case was pending, the County, in the June 2012 election, obtained voter approval (prospectively and retroactively) of both the hotel tax and the county's landfill tax in order to moot any challenge to those taxes based upon a claim that the voters had not approved them. When that election and approval were subsequently challenged in court, the County again prevailed. As of today, the Court of Appeal has affirmed both results favorable to the County. Nossaman's efforts in successfully defending the two suits has saved the county millions in tax revenues.
These decisions greatly affect the County of Los Angeles, but also provide guidance to other counties and government taxing authorities on how to address similar issues within their jurisdictions.