The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association has won $44.4 million in a class action lawsuit against the State of New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance over unconstitutional registration and decal fees.
The state’s Supreme Court ruled in the OOIDA’s favor in Jan. 2016 and recently ordered New York to pay a total of $44,429,473 as a result. The original lawsuit was filed in 2013 by OOIDA and individual operators.
The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of a $15 certificate of registration and $4 decal charge on all trucks using New York state highways, including those based out of state.
Because trucks based in New York will disproportionately drive a higher number of miles in the state, OOIDA argued that the taxes resulted in a higher per-mile tax rate on out-of-state trucks, which could violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
“If there are other states that think tacking on flat fees to their state truck taxes won’t be noticed as an economic burden to interstate commerce, they need to understand this is not a good idea,” said OOIDA president Jim Johnston in a statement. “We will take them to court in a heartbeat.”