The city of Orange has filed lawsuits against owners of three local hotels for not paying the proper amount of the hotel occupancy taxes. The city claims the hotels owe a total of $113,400 in taxes.
City Attorney John Cash Smith said the city has tried to collect the back taxes for several months and finally filed the suits in state district courts in Orange.
Hotels in the city are supposed to pay a 7 percent tax on each dollar charged for rooms. According to the suits, the city hired Avenue Insights and Analysis to conduct an audit of the local hotels from April 1, 2014, through July 31, 2016. The audit showed the three did not pay the proper share.
The lawsuits were filed against Comfort Inn, 2321 Highway 62 South, under Hospitality Operations. Also, Best Price Motel and Suites, 2610 Interstate 10 West, under Vidhi Diya Corporation, and Best Western Orange Inn, 2220 Highway 62 South, under Anfield Investments.
The city is contending Comfort Inn owes $20,191, Best Price Motel owes $50,743, and Best Western owes $42,473.
The city is also seeking $2,000 from each hotel for attorney fees, $1,700 for audit fees, plus 15 percent interest on the owed taxes as a penalty.