Fleet Management

Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Local Income Tax on Trucking

March 31, 2014

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Motor carriers operating in Ohio can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to taxes following a March 19 ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court.

It upheld a state law preventing local governments from taxing the income of motor carriers.

In the case, the Village of Seville had been assessing a local income tax on the trucking fleet Panther II Transportation. Panther challenged Seville’s tax, arguing that a different Ohio statute preempted local taxation of motor carriers. When lower courts held in favor of Panther, Seville asked the Ohio Supreme Court to allow its income tax assessments.

Had the ruling been in favor of Seville it would have opened the door for all Ohio municipalities to tax motor carriers, according to the Ohio Trucking Association.

Seville’s interpretation is that motor carriers could have been required to file and pay taxes to the approximately 600 municipalities that impose income taxes. With each municipality’s ability to define “income” its own way, the burden on motor carriers would have been astounding, said OTA.

Among those filing briefs supporting Panther were Con-Way Freight, UPS and OTA.

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