Court: College Park has right to collect occupation and alcohol taxes at airport

The state Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled that the city of College Park – and only that city – may impose an occupation tax and tax sales of alcoholic beverages in the parts of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport that fall within its boundaries.

Read the decision here.

Wrote College Park attorney Steve Fincher in an email:

Not only did the Court rule that College Park is the sole authority for the collection of gross receipt taxes at the portion of the airport located within College Park, but it ruled that Atlanta itself must pay College Park a gross receipts tax on its “proprietary” operations at the airport for those portions within College Park. It is a very far-reaching opinion.

This was the latest round in a series of bouts over the issue with the city of Atlanta, which had claimed the right to all revenue within the airport’s confines – pointing to a 1969 agreement with College Park. Much money is at stake – at a time when both cities are struggling to remain solvent.

For businesses at the airport, the court included this dour footnote:

“We note that some businesses and practitioners with multiple locations at the airport may owe an occupation tax to both Atlanta and College Park.”

Atlanta has 10 days to make an appeal for review by the state Supreme Court.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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17 comments Add your comment


June 24th, 2011
10:30 am

Hmm… “College Park International Airport.” That’s got a nice ring to it.

The Court did right. Perhaps now Mayor Reed will stop acting like he owns Hapeville, too? Nah, I didn’t think so either…


June 24th, 2011
10:36 am

Good for College Park. I so hate the dumpy ATL Airport! Best thing about it is when I am heading out of it somewhere more pleasant!

Last Man Standing

June 24th, 2011
11:29 am

It’s still Hartsfield Airport. The only thing Jackson did was profit personally from Hartsfield Airport, and his family still profits from it.

Politi Cal

June 24th, 2011
12:11 pm

The time is LONG past that Atlanta needs to be relieved of its “responsibilities” for the airport. There should be a State authority appointed for this, and tax monies should benefit all GeOlrgians, not just Atlantans.

professional skeptic

June 24th, 2011
12:21 pm

Oh right, Politi Cal… one more gold mine thing that the state can swoop in and take over and then divert the revenues to all kinds of pet projects and personal interests. Big Government at its best, right? Thanks, but no thanks.


June 24th, 2011
12:26 pm

LMS – sort of like all the goobers down at the Gold Dome? Deal, Perdue, Barnes, Miller, Joe Frank same stuff just on another level.

Politi Cal – Why should all of Georgia get the tax benefits of Hartsfield when it was built mainly with bonds that were taken on and paid for by Atlanta tax payers? Sounds like all those people that are talking about a state take over of MARTA after it has been built and paid for by Fulton and Dekalb residents.

Please keep it...

June 24th, 2011
12:38 pm


I BEG of you. Please keep MARTA. I can assure you that we don’t want it. You can keep that all for yourself. Also, please make sure that you never allow it to stretch outside of the confines of Dekalb or Fulton.


A Gwinnett Resident

Junior Samples

June 24th, 2011
12:53 pm

Please keep it…,

We don’t want your drugs coming in from Gwinnett


June 24th, 2011
12:55 pm

College Park needs to merge with Atlanta. this is absurd.


June 24th, 2011
12:58 pm

Don’t you just love the sentiment about Marta and the airport from those folks not of Fulton and Dekalb residency who have always born the the brunt of funding for these two entities. Never want to help pay but always first to holler their right to use. Can we really be surprised by the attitudes of those folks in this state. They and their elected officials seem to have a problem with ethics.


June 24th, 2011
2:08 pm

I must be confused. I thought the Airport bonds were paid for by the air travelers that use the airport.


June 24th, 2011
3:14 pm

Wondering, you are correct. The bonds are secured by the rating that the city of Atlanta has but it is repaid by revenue from the airport which does include the charges that passengers pay. The airport was originally paid for by the city of Atlanta and expansion has been paid for bonds so I stand corrected on that point but the airport was originally built with Atlanta tax payers money.

Please keep it – trust me when I say that you are in the minority on this according to the most recent polls in Gwinnett but I am sure that you are satisfied with your 8 lanes of gridlock that you have on I-85 each morning and evening. It sounds like you were one of those people that voted against MARTA in 1972 and again in 1990 because you thought MARTA would bring crime to the burbs, lol. How many thieves have you seen on a bus or train with a flat screen under their arms? All of that and Gwinnett still has the biggest gang problem in the entire state so maybe we shouldn’t allow MARTA to come out to Duluth, Norcross and Lawrenceville so that we can stay safe ITP. :-)

Last Man Standing

June 24th, 2011
6:31 pm


“same stuff just on another level.”

Yep, skimming the cream.

Last Man Standing

June 24th, 2011
6:37 pm


“you thought MARTA would bring crime to the burbs”

Crime has found Gwinnett County and apparently did so without the aid of MARTA. For Gwinnett to fight MARTA at this juncture is pure foolishness. Gwinnett is no longer “great”, it is gone!

Last Man Standing

June 24th, 2011
6:43 pm

Please keep it… :

Will you please turn out the lights when you finally are able to leave Gwinnett? I can understand being stuck there due to the falling values of residential properties combined with a very small number of potential buyers. Just hit the lights when you can finally abandon that sinking (almost sunken) ship.


June 24th, 2011
7:32 pm

Are you serious Poli Cal? You want THIS state of Georgia to run the airport?? They’ll run it straight into the ground. I’m sure those Republicans would love to eat up that tax money. E-Roll I so agree, keep MARTA out of Gwinnett, don’t want those thugs coming into the city. I’m just joking of course.


July 1st, 2011
10:03 am

Intown: Your idea is totally illogical. College Park and Atlanta do not share any common boundaries, and what about the people of Historic College Park, home to the largest private school in the country–Woodward Academy. Do you think they would really want to be merged into Southwest Atlanta?? No one wants to talk about the fact that Hartsfield Airport does not impact any Atlanta neighborhoods–so their city council makes decisions that affect the nearly 60,000 people in the tri-cities area that they are not accountable to.