OOIDA Fighting New York’s ‘Unconstitutional’ Highway Taxes

OOIDA EPA Fuel Efficiency Legal Challenge

In a press release last week, OOIDA announced it has filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance “challenging the constitutionally of certain highway taxes for all trucks using its state highways.”

According to the press release, the lawsuit was filed with the New York Supreme Court as a result of the state imposing a $15 fee for a certificate of registration and a $4 decal charge for all trucks using the state’s highways.

Failure to pay the fees may result in fines, including interest and penalties, and seizure of property.

“The taxes are imposed not only on New York-based trucks, but also on trucks based outside of New York. The Association’s lawsuit says the fees are unconstitutional and discriminatory against out-of-state truckers who have paid the taxes in order to do business in New York. The lawsuit also states that trucks owned and operated outside of New York travel fewer miles on New York highways than trucks owned and operated there. Therefore, the taxes impose a higher per mile tax rate on out-of-state trucks, and constitute an undue burden on interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3,” OOIDA states.

“In past years, OOIDA has been involved in legal actions against dozens of states resulting in tens of millions of dollars in direct refunds to more than 300,000 owner-operators who bore the economic burden of unconstitutional taxes,” said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston. “Those cases succeeded in stopping the proliferation of unconstitutional, discriminatory and burdensome taxes in those states. Our goal here is to once again put a stop to this type of discriminatory taxation before it spreads to other states.”

OOIDA is asking the New York Supreme Court to declare the taxes unconstitutional and not enforceable.  OOIDA is also asking for injunctive relief and refunds.