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Columbia, Joplin awarded funds in local tax lawsuit

St. Louis, MO (AP) – A judge has ruled that the city of Columbia should receive nearly $54 million in a lawsuit filed against its internet and telephone services provider.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo also awarded Joplin $1.1 million. The two cities sued Spectra Communications Group, which is owned CenturyLink, in 2014 over unpaid local taxes.

Under the ruling, Columbia will also keep $2.3 million in business license taxes that CenturyLink paid under protest.

The company argued that the local taxes should not apply to some of its services, and the damages the cities were seeking were exorbitant.

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