Bradley attorney Bruce Ely was quoted in Bloomberg Law on a recent decision in favor of railroad company CSX Transportation Inc. in a decade-old dispute over Alabama's diesel fuel tax policy. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that the state's imposition of a sales or use tax on rail carriers purchasing or consuming diesel fuel violates the federal Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act (4-R Act)—to the extent water carriers are exempt from the tax. The ruling reversed a lower federal trial court opinion and remanded to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama with instructions to enter declaratory and injunctive relief in favor of CSX.
“I was a bit surprised by this ruling, especially in light of the leeway the Supreme Court had seemingly given in its last opinion to the State with respect to water carriers,” Ely explained. “But I question whether water carriers are truly ‘similarly situated’ competitors to railroads to begin with.”
The complete article, “Third Time a Charm? CSX Prevails in Latest Alabama Tax Clash,” appeared in Bloomberg Law on March 27, 2018. (login required)