By Chelsea Marmor and Andrew Appleby

The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that a Kentucky statute, which retroactively reduced vendors’ 1% deduction of the sales tax collected and remitted to Kentucky to $1,500 in any monthly reporting period, did not violate the Kentucky Constitution. Wal-Mart argued that the statute violated the Kentucky Constitution because the funds collected by the statute were added to the state’s general fund and were not diverted to a fund of the same purpose as the statute to compensate vendors. The Department argued, and the court agreed, the act was not a tax purpose statute because it merely allowed for a deduction. Further, when vendors collect sales tax, they are acting as trustees for the state and do not have a property interest in the collected funds because the money is being collected for Kentucky’s general fund.  Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P. et al. v. Dep’t of Revenue, No. 015-CA-001054-MR (Sept. 9, 2016).