Articles Posted in Tennessee Supreme Court

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Tenn. Code Ann. 67-1-901, et seq., rather than Tenn. Code Ann. 67-1-1801, et seq., apply to a suit to recover municipal taxes, and under section 67-1-901(a) the alcoholic beverage retailers in this case were required to have paid under protest the disputed taxes before filing suit. From 2011-2014, the City of Morristown charged alcoholic beverage retailers higher inspection fees than was authorized by the city ordinance. Plaintiffs, a group of alcoholic beverage retailers, paid the excess fees but not under protest. Plaintiffs requested refunds, but the city denied the requests. Plaintiffs then sued for recovery of the excess collections and other damages. The trial court awarded Plaintiffs a judgment for the overpayments. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because Plaintiffs did not pay the taxes under protest, they were not entitled to refunds. View "Chuck's Package Store v. City of Morristown" on Justia Law

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Five separate groups of Pennsylvania-domiciled insurance companies (collectively, “Claimants”) were authorized to provide workers’ compensation coverage in Tennessee. As a result of an audit conducted by the State of Tennessee, Claimants were required, under Tennessee’s retaliatory tax statute, to recalculate their Tennessee taxes to include certain Pennsylvania workers’ compensation charges, file amended tax returns, and remit payment of the additional taxes totaling over $16 million. Claimants paid the taxes under protest. Each Claimant subsequently filed a complaint with the Tennessee Claims Commission (the “Commissioner”) seeking a refund of the retaliatory taxes paid under protest. The Commissioner issued five identical judgments, each granting summary judgment in favor of the State. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that because the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation assessments were no longer paid by the insurance companies but were imposed on the employer-policyholders in conjunction with their premium payments, the administrative task of collecting and remitting those payments did not qualify as a burden on the insurance companies for purposes of the retaliatory tax. View "Chartis Casualty Co. v. State" on Justia Law