Commerce Clause

News & Analysis as of

FERC says Nicatous microhydro doesn't need license

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed by a remote Maine sporting camp does not require licensing under the Federal Power Act. The Nicatous case illustrates one expedited regulatory...more

Washington ALJ Upholds B&O Assessment on German Company’s Royalty Income

On May 31, 2016, the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR) Appeals Division released a Determination (No. 15-0251, 35 WTD 230) denying a German pharmaceutical company’s business and occupation tax (B&O) protest. The...more

Alabama Issues Remote Sellers Use Tax Assessments, Newegg Inc. Appeals

Ever since Alabama’s new economic nexus regulation went into effect, litigation over its constitutionality has been expected given that Alabama Commissioner Julie Magee and Governor Bentley said as much when announcing it...more

Oklahoma Retail Protection Act of 2016: New Oklahoma Sales Tax Law on Internet Sales

Internet sales to Oklahomans will now be subject to new sales tax requirements. HB 2531, entitled the “Oklahoma Retail Protection Act of 2016” (the “Act”), enacted May 17, 2016, becomes effective November 1, 2016....more

Florida Supreme Court: Origin Sourcing for Sales Tax is Constitutional

The Florida Supreme Court upheld the imposition of a sales tax obligation on an in-state florist for all of its worldwide sales regardless of delivery destination. This “origin sourcing” method of determining transactions...more

Cook County Circuit Court Dismisses 201 False Claims Act Lawsuits

At a hearing yesterday, Cook County Circuit Judge James Snyder granted the State of Illinois’ (State) Motion to Dismiss 201 Illinois False Claims Act (FCA) cases filed by the law firm of Stephen B. Diamond, PC (Relator)...more

FERC and microhydro licensing

Federal energy regulators have ruled that a micro-hydroelectric project proposed in New York cannot be constructed or operated without a license. The proposed Henson Micro Hydroelectric Project would be located on the...more

Guidance Provided on Interplay of “Dormant” Commerce Clause and the 21st Amendment

On April 21, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down its opinion in Cooper v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, No. 14-51343. It provides further guidance, at least within the Fifth Circuit, on the...more

No Surprises in Ohio CAT Nexus Oral Argument

Oral argument before the Ohio Supreme Court took place on May 3 in the three cases challenging Ohio’s Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) nexus standard. Crutchfield, Inc. v. Testa, Case No. 2015-0386; Mason Cos. Inc. v. Testa,...more

Supreme Court of Ohio Hears Oral Argument in Crucial Case for Factor-Presence Nexus

The Supreme Court of Ohio heard oral argument in a case involving the Ohio Commercial Activity Tax (the “CAT”)—which provides that taxpayers have nexus with Ohio and are subject to tax if they have at least $500,000 of annual...more

BREAKING NEWS: Sales Tax Battle Breaks Out in South Dakota; Quill’s Last Stand?

On March 22, 2016, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed into law Senate Bill 106, which requires any person making more than $100,000 of South Dakota sales or more than 200 separate South Dakota sales transactions to...more

California Resale Royalty Act Claims Dismissed as Preempted by Copyright Law, Despite 1980 Ninth Circuit Holding to the Contrary

Just three months after the Supreme Court denied certiorari review of last year’s Ninth Circuit decision finding California’s Resale Royalty Act unconstitutional under the Dormant Commerce Clause in part—but also valid in...more

Cannabis investing—a safe high?

The successive legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana in four states—Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska—and the District of Columbia, as well as legalization of marijuana for medical use to varying degrees...more

US Supreme Court Reaffirms ERISA Preemption Doctrine

The Court finds that ERISA preempts the state law “All Payer” data requirement. In a 6–2 decision issued on March 1, the US Supreme Court affirmed a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decision holding that the...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

Tenth Circuit Rules Colorado Can Require Remote Retailers to Notify Customers of the State's Use Tax

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of a Colorado law that requires remote retailers to notify customers of the state’s use tax requirements and report certain customer tax...more

FERC holds CO microhydro needs license

In an order issued earlier this month, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that the developer of a micro-hydropower project proposed in Colorado must obtain a license for the Patton Colorado Hydropower Project's...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Colorado Use Tax Reporting Regime Constitutional

Today, February 22, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld Colorado’s use tax reporting regime in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl. In so doing, the court held that ...more

Restoring old mill hydro sites and FERC licensure

Suppose you own an existing water powered mill complex whose hydromechanical facilities have not been operational for decades. You would like to develop a hydropower project at the site, using the existing dam, headrace, and...more

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Rules that Motor Vehicle Use Tax is Constitutional

Motor Vehicle Use Tax is Constitutional - Regency Transportation, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue - MA Supreme Judicial Court No. SJC-11873 (January 6, 2016) - The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has held...more

Supreme Judicial Court Rules Against Taxpayer in Regency Transportation

On January 6, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued its decision in Regency Transportation v. Commonwealth, finding against the taxpayer. The taxpayer in Regency was a trucking company that purchased...more

Antitrust Suit Continues to Stymie New Texas Telemedicine Regulation

A federal district court denied the Texas Medical Board’s (the Board) motion to dismiss an antitrust suit filed by a telemedicine company (Teladoc), finding that the Board is not entitled to state action immunity because its...more

Risky times for some Internet lenders

A recent decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court serves as a painful reminder to Internet lenders of the perils of relying on choice-of-law provisions or arguments citing the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to avoid...more

Commerce Clause Does Not Prevent Minnesota from Regulating Internet Loans Made to State Residents, Minnesota Supreme Court Rules

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution does not preclude Minnesota from applying its payday lending law to loans consummated in Delaware that are made to Minnesota residents...more

Illinois Appellate Court Holds City of Chicago Tax on Cars Rented Outside of but Used Within the City Valid

An Illinois Appellate Court, in Hertz Corp. v. City of Chicago, 2015 IL App (1st) 123210 (Sept. 22, 2015), gave the City of Chicago (City) permission to require rental car companies to collect tax on vehicle rentals from...more

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