McLane Western, Inc. v. Department of Revenue
- Case Date: 6/12/2006
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On October 2, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a court decision upholding a Colorado excise tax that imposes higher taxes on out-of-state companies than on Colorado companies. The decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging that review be granted. WLF argued that taxes that, as here, discriminate against interstate commerce violate the Commerce Clause. WLF argued that such taxes interfere with the unrestricted flow of commerce and can damage the national economy. The petitioner in this case purchases the products subject to the tax fairly late in the distribution chain, from an out-of-state distributor. The "tax base" used in computing the excise tax is the purchase price paid by whichever distributor first brings the products into Colorado. Thus the petitioner pays a higher tax than when the same products are brought into the State at an earlier stage of the distribution chain (before all distribution mark-ups have been added to the price).
More Information and Downloads:
6/12/2006: Download the Brief