On June 12, 2020, a federal court partially denied Kroger Co.’s motion to dismiss a putative class action complaint regarding Oregon’s bottle deposit on beverages. The complaint alleged that Kroger had misrepresented the cost of certain beverages by charging a ten-cent bottle deposit for beverages that were exempt from the bottle deposit and failing to

This podcast discusses the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in A.F. Moore v. Pappas, which permitted a group of taxpayers to challenge their Cook County property tax assessments in federal court notwithstanding the Tax Injunction Act. It discusses:

  • the Tax Injunction Act’s bar on litigating state and local tax cases in federal

By Chris Lutz and Charlie Kearns

On February 10, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, 847 F.3d 812 (U.S. 6th Cir. 2017) that the Tax Injunction Act (TIA) and the principle of comity barred federal courts from hearing the taxpayers’ arguments

By Stephanie Do and Carley Roberts

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of a taxpayer’s complaint, arising from the Alabama Department of Revenue’s assessment and collection of state income tax, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Tax Injunction Act (TIA). The court held that the TIA prohibited granting

View the full Legal Alert. 

Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Direct Marketing Ass’n v. Brohl that the Tax Injunction Act does not bar Direct Marketing Association’s federal lawsuit against Colorado’s sales tax reporting regime. The substantive challenge to the constitutionality of the reporting regime will continue at the Tenth Circuit. Continue reading

On December 8, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the second of three state and local tax cases that it has accepted this term – Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl – to determine the reach of the federal Tax Injunction Act (“TIA”). The TIA provides that federal courts are barred from

By Maria Todorova and Jack Trachtenberg

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled that the Tax Injunction Act (TIA) served as a jurisdictional bar, depriving the court of subject matter jurisdiction in a case involving claims of a discriminatory real property foreclosure proceeding and unpaid property taxes. The taxpayers challenging the

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently confirmed that a state or local government’s intent to discriminate against railroad carriers is a relevant consideration in analyzing allegations of discriminatory taxation in violation of the federal Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act (“4-R Act”). 49 U.S.C. § 11501. The court further clarified the relationship between the 4-R Act and the Tax Injunction Act (“TIA”). 28 U.S.C. § 1341; Kansas City S. Ry. Co. and Norfolk S. Ry. Co. v. Koeller, No. 10-2333 (7th Cir. July 27, 2011). The residual clause of the 4-R Act prohibits states and their subdivisions from imposing discriminatory taxes against railroads.

At issue was a shift in 2009 by the Sny Island Levee Drainage District (an Illinois political subdivision), from its longstanding and uniform, per-acre annual maintenance assessment on all property to an assessment based on differentiating between land owned by railroads, pipelines, and utilities (“RPU”), and non-RPU land. Under the new regime, non-RPU land would continue to be assessed on a per-acre basis while RPU land would be assessed according to the value of the benefit conferred on RPU lands by the District’s levee system. The result: 4,800% and 8,300% increases in assessments for Kansas City Southern and Norfolk Southern railroads, respectively, in the span of one year. At the same time, the District chose to exempt land situated within municipalities, which, according to the District’s commissioners, included all non-RPU commercial and industrial properties. To make matters worse, the District never notified RPU landowners of the change in assessment methodologies, as it was required to do under Illinois law.

Continue Reading All Aboard! Seventh Circuit Rails Local Government for Discriminating Against Railroads

On June 20, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the federal district court had jurisdiction to adjudicate a case involving the constitutionality and validity of a levy imposed on a single entity. GenOn Mid-Atlantic, LLC v. Montgomery Cty., No. 10-1882 (4th Cir. June 20, 2011). In response to the Fourth Circuit’s decision, Montgomery County enacted legislation repealing the levy and providing a full refund—with interest—to the fee payer.

The GenOn case involved legislation that Montgomery County enacted in 2010, which imposed a $5 per ton levy on “major emitters” of carbon dioxide emissions. Montgomery County set the emissions threshold for a “major emitter” to include only those entities emitting more than one million tons of carbon dioxide during the year. The County also structured the levy such that once major emitters exceeded one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, they were required to pay the levy retroactively on each ton of emissions, going back to the first ton emitted. As a result, GenOn was the only entity subject to the levy and was subject to the levy on every ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

Continue Reading Fourth Circuit Emits Good News! Federal Court Retains Jurisdiction over Levy Imposed on a Single Entity