OOIDA v. NY HUT post-settlement FAQs

By Land Line staff

OOIDA is fielding plenty of questions about its class action and the recent settlement regarding certain New York highway user taxes. The Association’s successful lawsuit against New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance was concluded April 19, 2017, after a hearing in Albany found the near-record settlement a fair amount.

The state’s Supreme Court – which is the state’s trial court – ordered the state to pay a total of $44,429,473.

The most frequent questions include how the court-ordered refund will be paid, who gets the money, how do you sign up, and do you still have to have a sticker?

Who gets the money?

Whenever OOIDA obtains a monetary victory in favor of its members, the Association does not “get most of the money.” According to OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer, the class members get all of the money subject to court approved attorney fees and expenses.

In the New York tax refund litigation in particular, class members will receive a substantial refund, including a payment of 6 percent interest by the State of New York.

Class members will receive between $11.55 and $13.15 for each $15 or $19 registration tax they paid, depending on the year of payment.

Did OOIDA get an injunction, too?

In addition to the monetary recovery, OOIDA members benefit from the Association’s ongoing litigation efforts to stop violations of their rights. In this case, for example, OOIDA also obtained an injunction against New York, prohibiting it from engaging in future unconstitutional conduct. This also serves as a warning to other states who might be tempted to impose similar taxes, which would be huge – collectively and in administrative costs.

Who does the class include?

OOIDA’s legal action represents a class of all interstate motor carriers who reside and operate trucking equipment primarily outside New York who have paid the taxes.

Do you have to be an OOIDA member to get a refund?

No, but you should be. The Association has fought dozens of these state tax cases in court and won back well more than $100 million for truckers.

Do you have to take certain steps to get your refund?

No, you do not need to take any steps to obtain a refund. If you are an owner-operator and your motor carriers paid it but charged you, they are required to pass through the full amount to you. It would be a good idea to get in touch with the company and make sure they have the updated info to send you the refund amount.

Do you still have to get the sticker?

If you drive an out-of-state truck, you still have to get the sticker and put it on the truck. The only change was that New York cannot charge for the decal. Instead of $19 for the decal fee, there is now a $1.50 administrative fee.

When will the distribution begin?

The court ordered the distribution to commence on or before 120 days, which is May 22. Cash settlement checks should be received by the class members 90 days following the date the checks are mailed.

Is this OOIDA’s biggest settlement with this type of lawsuit?

With $44.4 million, New York is second to only one other state in size of the refund. Alabama was discriminating against out-of-state truckers by requiring them to pay a marker fee, which was not required of in-state truckers, and had to refund more than $68 million. LL