By Mike Penza and Madison Barnett

The New York Supreme Court, Albany County, held that New York’s unapportioned vehicle registration fees violated the Commerce Clause. The court found that the flat fees—imposed on all carriers operating motor vehicles in New York—were indistinguishable from those struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in American Trucking Ass’ns., Inc. v. Scheiner, 483 U.S. 266 (1987). The court rejected the state’s arguments that the fees (i) were too small ($15 and $4) to be of constitutional significance, and (ii) could not be apportioned without creating an “enormous and costly administrative burden.” Owner Operator Indep. Drivers Ass’n v. New York State Dep’t of Taxation and Fin., No. 005551/2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Albany Cty. Jan. 22, 2016).