ATA asks Supreme Court to review tax case
Apr 1, 2006 12:00 PM
The American Trucking Associations has filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court seeking review of the Oregon Supreme Court's rejection of its Commerce Clause challenge to aspects of Oregon's weight-distance tax system.
This case involves the so-called flat-fee option, which allows transporters of certain commodities to pay a fixed annual fee instead of the state's mileage tax. ATA highlighted in its petition a unanimous Oregon Court of Appeals ruling that found that the flat-fee option violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. Contrasting the court of appeals ruling with that of the state supreme court, ATA submitted that the state supreme court ruling had misapplied Commerce Clause standards, ignored inherent adverse effects on interstate commerce caused by flat trucking fees, and refused to consider evidence that confirmed that flat fees resulted in per-mile tax savings for flat-fee payers, virtually all of which are Oregon-based motor carriers.
Oregon remains one of only four states to continue to rely on weight-distances taxes as a source of highway funding.
The US Supreme Court likely will decide before the end of its term in July whether it will hear the ATA appeal, and if review is granted, would hear oral arguments next autumn.
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