Justia New Hampshire Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Transportation Law
The New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Road Toll Law imposed a road toll “upon the sale of each gallon of motor fuel sold by distributors thereof.” On multiple occasions between June 2008 and March 2011, Marco Petroleum Industries, Inc., contracted with Irving Oil Terminals, Inc. (Irving) for the purchase of diesel fuel. These purchases totaled 603,138 gallons. Each purchase included the transfer of fuel by Irving, at its facility located in Revere, Massachusetts, into trucks operated by P.S. Marston, LLC (Marston). Marston and Marco shared a business address in North Hampton. Marston transported the fuel from Revere to Marco’s facility in North Hampton; Marston invoiced Marco for the deliveries; and Marco paid those bills. The bill of lading issued by Irving for each sale was identical except for the date of sale, amount of fuel purchased, and the invoice amount. Also in connection with each purchase, Marco paid the Massachusetts fuel tax to Irving, and Irving then forwarded the funds to Massachusetts. In 2012, the Department of Safety (DOS) audited Marco’s “Motor Fuel Distributor” account and concluded that Marco imported motor fuel into New Hampshire without a license and therefore failed to report and pay the required New Hampshire road toll on the 603,138 gallons of fuel purchased from Irving. The DOS calculated that Marco owed the State $155,070.71. Marco challenged the DOS audit, arguing that the DOS and the trial court erred by finding that Marco was required to pay the road toll because: (1) it was not a “distributor” of motor fuels under RSA 259:21 (2014); (2) it did not “sell” motor fuel under RSA 260:32 (2014) (amended 2014); and (3) it would be unfair to require Marco to pay the New Hampshire road toll because it had already paid the Massachusetts fuel tax. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Marco Petroleum Industries, Inc. v. Comm'r, New Hamp. Dept. of Safety" on Justia Law