U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari in Alabama, Colorado tax cases concerning sales tax on diesel fuel, use tax reporting 

July 1:  The U.S. Supreme Court today granted certiorari in tax cases concerning sales and use taxation in Alabama and Colorado.

Alabama sales and use tax

The case from the Eleventh Circuit is Alabama Dept. of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc. (docket no. 13-553) and concerns a rail carrier’s challenge of the application of Alabama’s sales and use tax—a tax imposed on rail carriers but exempting certain other competitors in the transportation sector. Previously, when this case was before the U.S. Supreme Court, the case was remanded in 2011 to the Eleventh Circuit on a finding that the rail carrier could challenge the state’s application of its sales and use tax regime under provisions of a 1976 act—read TaxNewsFlash-United States (February 2011).


Today’s order from the Supreme Court provides the following:


The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. In addition to the question presented by the petition, the parties are directed to brief and argue the following question: Whether, in resolving a claim of unlawful tax discrimination under 49 U.S.C. §11501(b)(4), a court should consider other aspects of the State's tax scheme rather than focusing solely on the challenged tax provision.

Colorado use tax reporting

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in a case from the Tenth Circuit. In Direct Marketing Ass’n v. Brohl (docket no. 13-1032). In 2013, the Tenth Circuit reversed a district court’s grant of an injunction prohibiting Colorado’s Department of Revenue from enforcing the use tax reporting requirements enacted in 2010—read TaxNewsFlash-United States (August 2013).




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