Posts tagged "0900317"

American Catalog Mailers Association, et al. v. Heffernan (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-003-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION NO. 2017-1772 BLS1 AMERICAN CATALOG MAILERS ASSOCIATION and NETCHOICE vs. MICHAEL J. HEFFERNAN, in his capacity as Commissioner of the MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ENTERING DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ON COUNT I OF PLAINTIFFS’ VERIFIED COMPLAINT In this case, the plaintiff trade associations1 challenge the validity of Directive 17-1 issued by the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (the Commissioner and the DOR, respectively) on April 3, 2017 (the Directive). The Directive is entitled: “Requirement that Out-of-State Internet Vendors with Significant Massachusetts Sales Must Collect Sales or Use Tax.” In effect, it requires that, beginning on July 1, 2017, large internet vendors who do not have places of business in Massachusetts, but have made a minimum number of product sales for delivery into Massachusetts, collect and remit to the DOR Massachusetts sales or use taxes. This is a new policy, as these internet vendors were not previously required to collect sales or use taxes from their online customers who place orders for goods to be delivered in Massachusetts. The plaintiffs’ verified complaint (the complaint) is pled in four counts: Count One asserts that the Directive was issued in violation of the 1 Plaintiff American Catalog Mailers Association is a trade association representing companies engaged in catalog marketing. Plaintiff NetChoice is a trade association of internet companies engaged in online sales. 2 Massachusetts Administrative Procedure Act (G.L. c. 30A, the APA); Count Two asserts that the Directive is preempted by the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act (47 U.S.C. § 151, the IFTA); Count Three asserts that the Directive violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution; and Count Four asserts that the Directive violates the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. The case came before the court on June 27, 2017, three days before the Directive was to take effect, on the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining the Commissioner from enforcing the Directive. In their moving papers, the plaintiffs relied on Counts One and Two in pressing their request for preliminary injunctive relief. At the hearing, both the plaintiffs and the Commissioner agreed that as to Count One, which alleges that the Directive was invalid because not promulgated as a regulation pursuant to the APA, there were no facts in dispute, the issue had been fully briefed, and that Count could be resolved as a matter of law on the materials submitted. In consideration of the parties’ memoranda and oral arguments, the court finds that the Directive established a new policy that substantially altered the rights and interests of the regulated parties and therefore had to be promulgated pursuant to sections 2 […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 29, 2017 at 3:06 am

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