On October 8th, 2013 Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a class action lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of NY’s imposition of highway taxes. With this lawsuit OOIDA is seeking to represent all interstate motor carriers who are subject to the fees and are not based in New York.
[av_button label=’Read the Complaint’ link=’manually,http://www.ooida.com/CourtActions/NYHwyUseTax/Complaint.pdf’ link_target=’_blank’ color=’theme-color-subtle’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’ size=’small’ position=’left’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’56’ av_uid=’av-4ydzsc’]
New York imposes a $15 fee for a certificate of registration and a $4 decal charge for all trucks that use New York highways even if they are not based in New York. Not paying the fee can result in stiff fines and even potential impound of a truck. Section 502 of the NY Tax Law requires that each carrier apply to the DTF for a certificate of registration for each motor vehicle operated on public highway in the state.
Because out-of-state trucks travel relatively few miles within New York when compared to in-state trucks, OOIDA argues that it places an undue burden on interstate commerce through a higher per mile tax rate. Accordingly this is a violation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. If OOIDA wins the lawsuit it is asking the court to stop the state from collecting the fees, as well as issue refunds to the out-of-state carriers that paid the fees in the past.
I feel that the particular method that the state uses to collect the taxes is burdensome to smaller trucking companies and car haulers; yet at the same time I believe that the state has the right to collect revenue from carriers.
Do you think the State of New York has the right to charge the tax? Comment bellow.
Alex Marinov is the president of RCG Logistics LLC, with years experience in the shipping and freight industry. His main interest include sustainable building design, video production and automobiles.