An Oregon County judge ruled that the state's weight-distance tax is not unconstitutional in a suit brought by the American Trucking Associations.

The ATA argued that the state gives local truckers a break that unconstitutionally discriminates against interstate commerce. Local haulers of logs, wood chips, sand and gravel are allowed to pay a flat fee instead of the onerous weight-mile tax the ATA is fighting to eliminate. Oregon is one of only four states that still has the tax; ATA has successfully fought to have the tax eliminated in 15 states.
The ruling by Marion County Circuit Judge Pro Tem Claudia Burton comes following a two-week trial in December.
According to the Associated Press, Burton noted that the situation is not as simple as in-state carriers paying a flat tax and out-of-state carriers paying the weight-mile tax. She noted that 88 percent of Oregon carriers actually pay the weight-mile tax. And although trucking industry lawyers presented evidence during the trial that flat-fee haulers pay millions of dollar less per year than they would under the weight-mile tax, Burton noted that that's not true in all cases. Wood-chip haulers, for instance, who pay the flat fee wind up paying a higher rate than weight-mile taxpayers, she said.
"Considering the record as a whole, I cannot find that the availability of the flat fee option for certain commodities creates an undue burden on interstate commerce," Burton wrote.
A ruling in favor of the trucking group would have resulted in a separate trial to decide if any refund of taxes was due to truckers - potentially $60 million or more, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.