Oklahoma loses another round in registration fee case

| 9/2/2004

Oklahoma’s latest attempt to stop an order that would compel it to pay 12 other states roughly $28 million has failed.

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled Tuesday, Aug. 31, against a request from the state for a preliminary injunction against the International Registration Plan, David Saddler, executive director of IRP Inc., told Land Line.

The IRP is an interstate compact that regulates the payment of reciprocal registration fees between states and Canadian provinces. It had ordered the millions in payments by Oklahoma under the terms of the plan.

The plan’s Dispute Resolution Committee ruled in 2003 that Oklahoma was not in compliance with the terms of the plan after Illinois claimed that it had been shorted fees. In that case, Illinois claimed that Oklahoma was paying reciprocal fees based on falsified mileage projections.

Later that year, the IRP changed its established place of business rules, forcing hundreds – perhaps thousands – of out-of-state truckers who had registered in Oklahoma to return their plates to their home states. In Arkansas, the state then told those truckers they would owe thousands in back taxes, despite the fact that their Oklahoma registrations – and the reciprocal fees connected to them – had been accepted by Arkansas during those years.

The actual case has not yet been resolved. Saddler said the attorneys for both sides were due to submit briefs to Judge Heaton by Sept. 20; the court has not yet set a date for further action in the case.