A temporary restraining order issued by the state District Court of Oklahoma City on Feb. 8 continues to keep the Oklahoma Tax Commission from enforcing new rules that would prohibit trucking companies from using third party agents to establish places of business in Oklahoma under the International Registration Plan (IRP).
The new rules were proposed by the Oklahoma Tax Commission in response to a mandate from the IRP that Oklahoma change its requirements regarding "place of business" or be sanctioned. In view of the restraining order, the IRP board recently voted not to proceed with the sanctions.
The order was the result of a lawsuit filed Feb. 4, 2002, by a large transportation consulting firm, ProCert Inc. and two other companies. ProCert, headquartered in Oklahoma City, assists truckers nationwide in licensing, titling, permitting and registration of their motor vehicles. In its lawsuit, ProCert seeks an injunction, in addition to a declaratory judgment from the court declaring that the new rules are unconstitutional and they violate the trucking industry's constitutional rights of freedom of contract, substantive due process and equal protection. ProCert's President and CEO, Chris D. Gorman, expressed his opinion that the new rules were ill conceived in that they are unfair and burdensome to the trucking industry.
According to Newt Cunningham III, attorney for ProCert Inc., a hearing was held on March 7 after which the judge said he was taking the case "under advisement." Cunningham, of the Dallas law firm of Roberts, Cunningham and Stripling. told Land Line a decision is expected by April 12 and until then, "it's business as usual" in Oklahoma and the new rules were still at bay.
--Sandi Soendker, managing editor