2021 will be remembered for many reasons: the continuation of the pandemic, the commercialization of space travel, and the rise of meme stocks among others. 2021 also will be remembered for the frenetic pace of state tax developments. The Eversheds Sutherland SALT team was kept busy tracking and summarizing state and local tax developments –

The Louisiana Court of Appeal, Second Circuit ruled that a city franchise fee imposed on a telecommunications company was discriminatory in violation of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the “Act”) where the fee was charged to a taxpayer pursuant to a bilateral contract but not charged to the taxpayer’s competitor.

The city brought a

The Ohio Supreme Court recently held that Cincinnati’s billboard excise tax is unconstitutional because the tax violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, finding that Cincinnati’s need to raise revenue by imposing the tax solely on a small number of billboard operators did not survive strict scrutiny.

In 2018, the Cincinnati City Council

Following a taxpayer’s assessment appeal, the Virginia Tax Commissioner determined that “easy return label” and “merchandise logo charges” were subject to Virginia sales tax.

Easy return labels
The taxpayer was a retailer of products sold online and through catalogs. The taxpayer offered its customers the option of returning merchandise using an “easy return label,” which

On July 8, 2021, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a decision holding that a retailer was not subject to use tax on advertising materials mailed to Michigan residents. The retailer designed the materials in-house and had them printed by a third-party printer, outside of Michigan. After printing, the retailer sent the materials to a

Addressing cross-motions for summary judgment from the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the City of Seattle, the Superior Court of Washington for King County held that the City’s new payroll expense tax, which applies to businesses that spend $7 million or more on payroll in Seattle, is constitutionally permissible.

On July 6, 2020, the

The New Jersey Tax Court ruled that the in-state activities of an out-of-state wholesale produce distributor were protected under Public Law 86-272 (P.L. 86-272), a federal law that prohibits states from imposing a net income tax on an out-of-state taxpayer.  The Taxpayer had no offices, property, employees or inventory in New Jersey, but it did