At issue in this case was the meaning of the term “motor fuel taxes” as used in the Georgia Constitution, Article III, Sec. IX, Par. IV(b). A trucking industry association and three individual motor carriers challenged local sales and use taxes on motor fuels, the revenues of which were not used solely for public roads and bridges. They argued that these taxes fell within the meaning of “motor fuel taxes” under the Motor Fuel Provision and, therefore, the revenues from these taxes (or an amount equal to that revenue) had to be allocated to the maintenance and construction of public roads and bridges. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ complaint because the history and context of the Motor Fuel Provision revealed that “motor fuel taxes” were limited to per-gallon taxes on distributors of motor fuel, and did not include sales and use taxes imposed on retail sales of motor fuels. View "Georgia Motor Trucking Assn. v. Georgia Dept. of Rev." on Justia Law
Posted in: Constitutional Law, Energy, Oil & Gas Law, Government & Administrative Law, Tax Law, Transportation Law
During the 2015 General Session, the legislature amended certain statutes governing Certificates of Public Necessity and Convenience (“CPNCs,” also known as taxi medallions) and created new provisions authorizing (and regulating) ride-sharing programs throughout the state. Appellants, taxicab drivers who operated in the City of Atlanta and owned CPNCs, filed suit claiming that the Act resulted in an unconstitutional taking and inverse condemnation of their CPNCs. The State moved to dismiss, arguing, among other things, that Appellants failed to state legally cognizable claims. The trial court agreed and granted the motion. Finding no reversible error, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the trial court. View "Abramyan v. Georgia" on Justia Law
Appellants filed a petition to quiet title against all the world as to two parcels of land (Tracts 1 and 1A) in Lavonia, asserting a claim of slander of title against Hartwell Railroad Company (Hartwell). Hartwell only disputed appellants' title to the .67 acres of land comprising Tract 1A, claiming that the property was within the 100-foot right-of-way it held on either side of its railroad running through Lavonia. An appointed special master issued an order subsequently adopted by the trial court granting Hartwell's motion and denying appellants' motion. Appellants appealed, arguing that the trial court erroneously concluded that Hartwell held undisputed record and prescriptive title to Tract 1A by relying on certain inadmissible evidence. The court held that, even if the court determined that the trial court erred by concluding that Hartwell had title to Tract 1A as a matter of law, appellants would not be entitled to a reversal of the summary judgment entered in Hartwell's favor in view of the trial court's unchallenged rulings that appellants, as a matter of law, could not prove their own title to the property. As such, appellants could not benefit from resolution of the issues on appeal and the appeal was dismissed as moot.