Date: Mar 30, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 30, 2017, the District of Columbia Office of Tax Revenue withdrew its appeal, thereby conceding International Limousine Service, Inc.’s victory in a landmark decision by the D.C. Superior Court issued on October 27, 2016. International Limousine was represented by Manesh K. Rath, partner, at Keller and Heckman LLP in Washington, D.C. Mr. Rath is a trial and appellate attorney who has successfully assisted operators in passenger transportation nationwide.
International Limousine contested a tax on trips made across state lines on the basis of a federal preemption that bars states from taxing the interstate transportation of passengers. The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue argued that the tax should apply to trips made to area airports. Judge Christian, writing for the D.C. Superior Court Tax Division, held that the federal statute “acts as an absolute bar on the (District of Columbia’s) authority to tax…transportation of passengers in interstate commerce.”
The District of Columbia at first noted its appeal of this decision, but, upon further review, withdrew its appeal and conceded victory to International Limousine. The court’s decision puts an end to years of unfairly imposed taxes upon ground transportation of passengers to airports like Reagan National, Dulles International, and Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International airports. In addition, transportation firms might be able to seek refunds for prior years in which the District of Columbia improperly imposed those taxes. The implications for the industry – and for the District – are considerable.
Because of International Limousine's success against the District of Columbia, other local governments nationwide will be less likely to try to improperly tax interstate transportation of passengers.
Richard Kane, President and CEO of International Limousine stated “This is a positive result, not only for International Limo, but for all passenger transportation operators in D.C. and around the nation. We would not have reached this successful outcome without Manesh – his diligence and dedication to his clients’ interests make him a valued part of any team.”
“The industry owes great gratitude to International Limousine for this result,” Manesh Rath noted. “Improvements in the law, and how agencies enforce those laws, can only occur because of conscientious businesses like International Limo.”
International Limousine Services, Inc. has been a leader in the industry and one of the most widely respected ground passenger transportation firms for almost fifty years. International Limousine was the winner of the 2009 Operator of the Year Award by LCT Magazine. Richard Kane, President and CEO, served as President of the National Limousine Association from 2008-2009.
Keller and Heckman LLP's nationally-recognized litigation attorneys represent clients' interests before federal and state courts, and regulatory agencies. Keller and Heckman was founded in 1962 and serves clients from its offices in Washington, D.C., Brussels, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Paris.