New York HUT: Does OOIDA get ‘most’ of the money?

By Todd Spencer, OOIDA Executive Vice President

A core component of OOIDA’s mission is to vindicate the constitutional rights of its members in court. That is what the New York tax lawsuit was all about – knocking out New York’s collection of unconstitutional taxes from OOIDA members. Whenever OOIDA obtains a monetary victory in favor of its members, the Association does not “get most of the money.” Rather, the class members get 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. This certainly is not a pennies-on-the-dollar result.

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. And, if that happens, members can always be assured that OOIDA will be there to protect their rights, to stop illegal conduct, and to knock out bad laws and regulations.

After all class members have been paid, and pursuant to court order, any remaining funds may be used for charitable purposes by the OOIDA Foundation, a not-for-profit organization. The OOIDA Foundation funds and sponsors research concerning economic and safety issues affecting the motor carrier industry, specifically focused on drivers, owner-operators and small fleets. The Foundation also funds the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Program, which has been assisting the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of OOIDA members in their efforts to gain a higher education since 1998.

Over the years, OOIDA lawsuits have been responsible for refunds for more than $100 million that was wrongfully taken from truckers. LL