OOIDA lawsuit against NY’s road-use tax gets class-action certification

Updated Sep 11, 2014

thruwayNew York has granted class-action certification to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s lawsuit against the state-required registration and decal fees for out-of-state trucks.

The state charges $15 registration for each vehicle subject to Highway Use Taxes, unless operating on the tolled portions of the New York Thruway. Last year, it began requiring an accompanying decal for an additional $4 and failure to display it became classified as a traffic infraction. 

Last October, OOIDA filed suit in New York’s supreme court, the state’s trial court. The association argued trucks owned and/or operated outside of New York log fewer miles in the state than trucks owned and/or operated in New York. Consequently, out-of-state truck owners are subject to a higher per-mile-tax rate, which violates the federal Commerce Clause.

On Sept. 2, Thomas McNamara, acting supreme court justice, granted OOIDA’s motion for class action status. The association seeks injunctive relief, refunds and other appropriate relief on behalf of the plaintiffs.