Civil Procedure Tax Energy & Utilities

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D.C. Circuit Questions FERC’s Policy Statement on Income Tax Allowances

On July 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its opinion in United Airlines, Inc., et al. v. FERC. This oil pipeline rate case appeal involves SFPP, L.P., a pipeline organized as a limited...more

D.C. Circuit Reopens Controversy Concerning Regulated Master Limited Partnership Taxation

On Friday, July 1, 2016, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reopened the issue of whether pipelines organized as partnerships can claim a tax allowance for ratemaking purposes...more

Texas Comptroller Prevails in Tax Exemption Claim

A fight over the Texas sales tax drew industry-wide attention when the trial judge commented from the bench that he was inclined to exempt purchases of casing, tubing, pumps and related services from Texas state sales tax....more

Court of Appeal Turns a Careful Eye Toward Challenges to California’s Cap-and-Trade Auction System

A California Court of Appeal signaled it is moving closer to making what could be a far-reaching decision in the consolidated cases of California Chamber of Commerce v. California Air Resources Board (Case No. C075930) and...more

Supreme Court Rejects Maryland Power Plant Subsidies, But Signals Permissible Ways for States to Incentivize New Plants

In recent years, Maryland attempted to subsidize new power plants by guaranteeing prices for generating capacity at wholesale auctions administered by PJM Interconnection L.L.C. (PJM). Tuesday, the Supreme Court unanimously...more

The Supreme Court - April 2016 #3

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in two cases on April 19, 2016: Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing, LLC, No. 14-614: Congress, though the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), 16 U.S.C. §791a et seq., vested...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 7, Issue 3, March 2016

TRIAL COURT HOLDS THAT FEES RELATED TO THE NEW YORK HIGHWAY USE TAX ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL - In a class action lawsuit, an Albany County trial court held that flat highway use registration and decal fees charged to heavy...more

Newhall Case Applies Proposition 26 to Wholesale Water Rates

Newhall County Water District v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (2016) 243 Cal.App.4th 1430 (“Newhall”) - Case Disposition - Plaintiff Newhall County Water District (“Newhall”), a retail water purveyor, challenged a...more

California Appellate Court Holds Groundwater Pumping Fees are Property-Related Fees Subject to Prop. 218

Decision Conflicts with a Separate Appellate Court Decision to be Considered by the California Supreme Court - In Great Oaks Water Company v. Santa Clara Valley Water District, originally issued March 26, the Sixth...more

Rectification in a Tax Context: The Intention Standard Prevails

A drafting mistake in an agreement can result in significant and unintended tax consequences. In the recent case of Baytex Energy Ltd. v. Canada (Attorney General) (Baytex), the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Court)...more

Los Angeles Settles Disputed Phone Tax for $92.5M

Recently, a class of plaintiffs settled with City of Los Angeles over its alleged unlawful collection of telephone utility user tax (UUT). The class alleged that the Los Angeles Municipal Code exempted from UUT all amounts...more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 6, Issue 8 - August 2015

Court Of Appeals Affirms Revocation Of Tax Exemption For Public Parking Facilities - Reversing a decision by the Appellate Division, the Court of Appeals has held in a 5-2 decision that a charitable organization is not...more

County Waited Too Long to Assess

In Duke Energy Fayette II, LLC v. Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals, No. 1406 C.D. 2014 (May 28, 2015), the Court found that the Fayette County Board of Assessment Appeals conducted an impermissible spot reassessment...more

Two California Appellate Court Rulings Demonstrate that Groundwater Pumping Fees are in the Eye of the Beholder

One Holds that the Fee is Subject to Prop. 26 and Another that it is a Property-Related Fee Subject to Prop. 218 - Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down this month address whether or not a local water...more

Alabama Department of Revenue Gets a Second Chance to Justify Diesel Fuel Sales Tax Against Rail Carriers

In the State of Alabama’s and CSX Transportation’s second trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held in a 7-2 decision on March 4 that Alabama’s sales tax on diesel fuel purchased and used by rail carriers—where motor and...more

Court Strikes Down Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement

Surcharge Collected for General Revenue Purposes Under a Franchise Agreement must be Approved by Voters - A surcharge on electric utility bills collected by a power company pursuant to a franchise agreement and remitted...more

Supreme Court Decides Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 13-553, holding that a rail carrier can prove discrimination under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform...more

Ormat Defends 1603 Cash Grant Awards in Suit by Ex-Employees

Ormat is a successful developer of geothermal energy projects. Two former employees have brought a lawsuit alleging that Ormat made inaccurate 1603 Cash Grant submissions to obtain grants for projects that should not have...more

Court Sustains Treasury’s 2/3 Reduction of Cash Grant for Cogen Open-Loop Biomass Plant

The United States Court of Federal Claims on January 12 rendered an opinion in W.E. Partners II, LLC v. U.S. sustaining the Treasury Department’s reduction by approximately two-thirds of a Cash Grant for a cogeneration...more

ExxonMobil Decision by ICSID: A win for ExxonMobil or Venezuela?

On 9 October 2014, an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) tribunal comprised of H. E. Judge Gilbert Guillaume (President), Professor Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Dr. Ahmed Sadek El-Kosheri...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update: November 2014

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. Does New Governor Mean More Tax Reform? In the recent gubernatorial election, challenger Tom Wolf (D) defeated incumbent Governor Tom Corbett (R)....more

MoFo New York Tax Insights - Volume 5, Issue 8 - August 2014

In This Issue: - Department Releases New Nonresident Audit Guidelines to Address Gaied - Nuclear Power Plant That Produces Steam and Water to Generate Electricity Is Not Eligible for Investment Tax...more

Illinois Appellate Court’s Expansive Interpretation of a Taxing Ordinance Swallows a Sale for Resale Exemption

The First District of the Illinois Appellate Court, in Ford Motor Company v. Chicago Department of Revenue, 2014 IL App (1st) 130597 (June 27, 2014), recently held that Ford Motor Company (Ford) owes City of Chicago vehicle...more

Solar City and Sunrun File Suit Challenging Arizona Property Tax on Leased Solar Systems

Solar City Corporation and Sunrun Inc. (collectively, the “Companies”) filed suit on June 30, 2014 challenging the Arizona Department of Revenue’s (ADOR) position that certain solar systems owned by the Companies (the...more

Focus on Tax Controversy and Litigation - May 2014

In this issue: - Tax Court Rejects Partnerships’ Claim of Attorney-Client Privilege and Orders Release of Opinion Letters - Litigation Heats Up in Section 1603 Cash Grant Program for Renewable Energy Projects...more

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