Monday, November 2, 2009
Cert. Grant Today: Federal Jurisdiction over Constitutional Challenge to Ohio's Tax Benefits for Local Natural Gas Distributors (Levin v. Commerce Energy Inc.)
Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Levin v. Commerce Energy Inc. (09-223). The questions presented are:
(1) Did Hibbs v. Winn, which addressed the scope of the Tax Injunction Act's bar against federal cases seeking to enjoin the assessment and collection of state taxes, eliminate or narrow the doctrine of comity--applied in Fair Assessment in Real Estate Association v. McNary--which more broadly precludes federal jurisdiction over cases that intrude on the administration of state taxation?
(2) Do either comity principles or the Tax Injunction Act bar federal jurisdiction over a case in which taxpayers allege, on equal protection and dormant commerce clause grounds, that their tax assessments are discriminatory relative to other taxpayers' assessments?
The docket is here, and the Sixth Circuit’s decision is at 554 F.3d 1094.
(Hat Tip: BNA’s Supreme Court Today)