SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — AT&T Mobility has agreed to pay $10.22 million to settle a long-standing tax lawsuit with this southwest Missouri city.
Springfield City Council members approved the agreement earlier this week in closed session and will vote on it publicly Monday.
AT&T Mobility, along with other wireless carriers, had argued that Missouri cities could not force them to pay the same types of taxes they levied on land-based telephone providers.
After the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that cellular carriers could be taxed, the two sides skirmished in court and the state Legislature over how much back taxes the carriers owed.
In 2007, the three top companies — Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint Nextel — agreed to settle most of the litigation against them. Verizon Wireless paid $24.5 million, Sprint paid $52.2 million, and AT&T paid $76.3 million.
The Springfield case, filed in May 2004, was the only one left.
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement with the city of Springfield that will resolve this issue,” AT&T spokesman Kerry Hibbs said Thursday. “We are glad to see the uncertainty resolved.”
The amount AT&T would pay includes back taxes and taxes that were paid under protest, which now will be released.
Mayor Tom Carlson said in a news release that he would recommend that the city use the settlement to replace money it didn’t pay into the city’s pension fund for police and firefighters between the fiscal years of 2004 and 2007.