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Columbia wins almost $54 million in judgment against CenturyLink



The City of Columbia has won a nearly $54 million judgment in a case against telecommunication company CenturyLink for unpaid taxes.

A St. Louis County judge issued the ruling last week in the case brought by Columbia and Joplin in 2014. Courts had previously found that CenturyLink and its related companies had excluded certain types of revenue from taxes paid to the city in violation of local laws going back to 2007.

In the ruling issued June 3, the court criticized CenturyLink for failing to provide a full accounting of its revenue in each city. The court had to rely on projections made by an expert based on incomplete data to reach the judgment amount, according to Circuit Judge Ellen H. Ribaudo's ruling.

David Streubel, a lawyer who represented the cities in the case, said in a news release that Columbia will keep an additional $2.3 million in business license taxes CenturyLink has paid under protest. The judgment includes penalties, interest and attorneys' fees.

Joplin was awarded about $1.2 million.

Lumen replied to an email saying "strongly disagrees with the circuit court’s decision and intends to aggressively pursue its appellate rights."

Adam Hochschild, the lead attorney for CenturyLink in the case, said when reached Thursday evening that he would comment on the case after consulting with other members of his legal team.

Local News / Mid-Missouri Business / News / Top Stories
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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