Tag Archives: constitutionality

Judge Finds Texas School Finance System Unconstitutional

A Travis County District Court judge ruled Thursday that Texas’s school finance system violates the Texas Constitution.  The judgment and associated findings of fact and conclusions of law are available here.  Review of the decision will go directly to the Texas Supreme Court.  The judge wrote that his ruling would not be implemented until July […]

Appeals Court Finds New Tax on Small Tobacco Manufacturers Unconstitutional

The Third Court of Appeals recently held in Combs v. Texas Small Tobacco Coalition that a new tax on small tobacco manufacturers violates the Equal and Uniform Taxation Clause of the Texas Constitution.  In doing so, the Third Court upheld a trial court decision from late last year invalidating the tax.  The opinion highlights the […]

Texas Supreme Court Won’t Weigh in on Prepayment Requirement for Court Access

Today, the Texas Supreme Court denied the Texas Comptroller’s Petition for Review in the Richmont Aviation case.  As a result, the Third Court of Appeals’ decision in the taxpayer’s favor becomes final, but the Texas Supreme Court has taken no position on the Third Court of Appeals’ holding in Richmont Aviation, leaving some uncertainty in […]

Texas Tax Appellate Court Decisions: The Year in Review

This post takes a quick look at the decisions regarding Texas sales and use tax and Texas franchise tax that the Texas Supreme Court and Texas Courts of Appeals have handed down in the past year.  While this blog has already discussed some of these, now is a good time to revisit them in light […]

Nestle’s Constitutional “Shotgun Blast” to the Texas Franchise Tax Results in a Loss: Any Positives for Texas Taxpayers?

Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court announced its decision in the Nestle USA, Inc. case. This was Nestle’s second constitutional challenge to the Texas franchise tax.  Not surprisingly, the Court rejected Nestle’s challenge–it upheld the tax. Nestle’s Challenge to the Texas Franchise Tax Nestle’s approach was to take a “shotgun blast” to the tax. I […]

Sexually Oriented Business Fee Declared Constitutional

Last month I posted an entry about a constitutional challenge to the “Sexually Oriented Business Fee,” or SOB Tax. This is the $5 per-customer charge imposed on Texas adult entertainment establishments that allow alcohol to be consumed on their premises. See my June 29 post on the Sexually Oriented Business Fee for additional background. In that entry, I […]

Sexually Oriented Business Fee May Soon be Declared Unconstitutional . . . Again

Update: On July 9, Judge Jenkins published a Final Judgment holding that the SOB Fee does NOT violate the Texas Constitution. See my July 30 post on the Texas Sexually Oriented Business Fee for more details. The Texas Sexually Oriented Business Fee may soon be declared unconstitutional as an improperly allocated occupation tax. Yesterday, District Court Judge […]

House Ways & Means Appears Willing to Make the Texas Franchise Tax “More Fair” by Making it Even More Complicated

On June 5, the Texas House Ways & Means Committee held a hearing on potential Texas franchise tax changes. The Austin American Statesman has published an article about the hearing, and the TSCPA has also covered it in its blog. A four and a half hour long recording of the hearing is available here. After watching the hearing, it appears that […]

Amazon.com’s Texas Sales Tax Settlement: Is It Even Legal?

You’ve probably heard about Amazon.com recent $269 million Texas sales tax settlement with the Comptroller. Back in 2010, the Comptroller alleged that under existing state law, Amazon should have been collecting Texas sales tax from all of its Texas customers. Then in 2011, the Legislature balanced the budget by adding a provision to the tax code making it […]


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