New York State’s Supreme Court has ruled as unconstitutional the highway-use registration and decal fees imposed on all trucks that operate in the Empire State.
As reported by Heavy Duty Trucking, the decision was handed down in late January. It resolved a class action suit filed back in 2013 by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association and others.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that in addition to a pay a per-mile fuel tax, New York State required operators, both in-state and out-of-state, to pay equally a $15 per vehicle registration fee and a $4 decal fee regardless of the number of miles they travel in New York State. This resulted in a higher per mile tax rate being imposed on out-of-state trucks, the layers said.
In its ruling, the Court held that the taxes violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against out-of-state operators.” The court immediately prohibited the NY State Tax Department from collecting the decal and certificate of registration fees. This week the state online credentialing and registration system (OSCAR) was shut down.
It is unclear at this time whether the state will eventually appeal the decision.
“The Court’s ruling vindicates the constitutional rights of thousands of truck owner-operators, who should be reimbursed by the State of New York for all registration taxes they have been required to pay in violation of the Constitution,” said Daniel E. Cohen, lead counsel for the class, in a press release issued by the law firm.