The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a class action lawsuit on Oct. 8 against the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance challenging the constitutionality of certain highway taxes for all trucks using its state highways.
The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in response to a $15 fee for a certificate of registration and a $4 decal charge on all trucks using New York State highways. Failure to pay on a timely basis can result in fines, interest, 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 claims the fees are unconstitutional and discriminatory against out-of-state truckers who have paid the taxes in order to do business in New York because trucks owned and operated outside of New York travel fewer miles on state highways than trucks owned and operated there. OOIDA also claims 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.
The action asks the court to declare those taxes unconstitutional and therefore invalid and not enforceable. The complaint also asks for injunctive relief, refunds and other appropriate relief on behalf of the plaintiffs.
OOIDA is seeking to represent a class of all interstate motor carriers who reside and operate trucking equipment primarily outside the State of New York who have paid or will pay the taxes.