Dot Foods v. Washington Dept. of Revenue , 215 P.3d 185 (2009)

Dot Foods v. Washington Dept. of Revenue


The Washington Supreme Court, in a sharply divided decision, held that it was improper to change the statutory interpretation without a change in the underlying statute, and the new interpretation did not comport with the language of the statute. Dot sold products through a direct seller's representative, and some of the products were ultimately placed in retail establishments. The Department changed its interpretation of the word "exclusively" in the statute, such that the new interpretation would require all of a company's products to be sold at wholesale, along with other requirements, to avoid the state's B&O tax. Nothing had changed in how Dot had been operating, and they still qualified for the exemption under the old rules. The Supreme Court felt that the change in interpretation was not appropriate without change to the statute, especially after so much time had passed without any challenges to the previous interpretation.

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Reference Info:State, 9th Circuit, Washington | United States

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