'Bama truckers sue over Okie tag crackdown

| 9/19/2002

The Alabama Trucking Association is suing the state tax agency to stop its crackdown on Alabama-based trucks that have registered in Oklahoma. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, seeks an injunction to halt the department's ticketing program.

Last month, enforcement officers from the Alabama Department of Revenue reportedly started issuing tickets to Alabama-based trucks with Oklahoma tags. The department allegedly accused truckers of obtaining improper registrations from Oklahoma, where the property and sales taxes are cheaper.

Trucking companies argue that at the time they registered, Oklahoma permitted trucking companies to register their fleets through agents in the state. Oklahoma has since changed its policy, leaving truckers to argue that they should be able to use their one-year registrations until they expire because they were purchased legally.

Alabama revenue officials want the money that's being diverted to Oklahoma and they want it now, refusing to consider the "it was legal" argument. They point to an Oklahoma grand jury investigation of the agent system that has resulted in felony indictments against three agents and four workers from the Oklahoma Tax Commission.