state of Arkansas has filed a motion to dismiss a suit against it
by the Arkansas Trucking Association.
the motion, the state claims that the court where the suit was filed
has no jurisdiction in the case.
to John Tice of the Department of Finance and Administration, the
suit was filed under Article 16, Section 13 of the Arkansas State
Constitution, which allows citizens to challenge the constitutionality
of a tax or whether a particular expenditure was appropriate.
the association and the other plaintiff in the case, Wayne Smith
Trucking, were not challenging the constitutionality of the sales
tax, Tice said, the state is asking the court to end the suit.
to Lane Kidd, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, the
state also contends the plaintiffs should have first requested a
refund and been denied that refund before filing suit. In addition,
he said, the state maintains the suit should be limited to the named
plaintiffs and should not be expanded to a class action.
said the state’s response was what his group expected.
legal counsel advised they didn’t see anything in the response that
was unexpected,” he said. “So we’re hopeful that the judge will
refuse to grant their motion and this case can go to trial.”
Arkansas Trucking Association and Wayne Smith Trucking sued the
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration May 23 over the
agency’s attempt to collect back sales tax from truckers.
said the plaintiffs want the state to return the back sales tax
it has already collected.
controversy erupted earlier this year when the International Registration
Plan, an interstate compact regulating trucking fees, ruled that
truckers who did not live in Oklahoma could no longer base plate
there. That forced hundreds, perhaps thousands of truckers to move
their plates to their home states.
at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration contended
the truckers would owe back taxes when the companies or individuals
moved their truck registrations back to Arkansas. The department
contended that those truckers who had base plated outside of Arkansas
did so illegally.
state sales tax could run as high as $6,000 on a new rig.
Ellen Brantley will hear the case, which was filed in Pulaski County
Circuit Court. The department’s response, filed June 17, was not
due until June 24.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at email@example.com.