COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) – The federal government is seeking a refund of taxes from the state of Ohio over allegations it is not liable for motor vehicle fuel taxes imposed by the state.
United States of America filed a complaint on March 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Eastern Division against the state of Ohio seeking declaratory relief and refund of state taxes.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that between Feb. 22, 2010, and Nov. 30, 2015, the United States Department of Defense purchased 596,628.06 gallons of motor fuel within Ohio and claims the state collected $167,628.87 in motor fuel tax from the purchases.
Under the U.S. Constitution, the federal government claims it should be immune under the Supremacy Clause from the motor fuel tax imposed by Ohio because it is a tax, and the United States has not waived its immunity.
The suit states Ohio did refund $13,079.23 in July 2016 for the motor fuel taxes.
As a result, plaintiff claims it has suffered actual harm by virtue of the continued imposition of the motor fuel tax and continues to suffer harm because it continues to purchase motor fuel for use in vehicles while conducting official government business.
The plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment that the motor fuel tax imposed is an unconstitutional tax upon the United States, return to the United States $153,947.64 it paid in fuel taxes, and such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper. It is represented by Thomas P. Cole and Ryan O. McMonagle of U.S Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division case number 2:18-cv-00225-GCS-EPD