Veolia Wins $2M Tax Refund At Mass. High Court

Law360 (September 11, 2019, 5:17 PM EDT) -- Veolia Energy Inc. will be refunded $1.96 million in personal property taxes paid to the city of Boston, the highest court in Massachusetts said Wednesday, concluding its system of underground steam pipes was considered machinery and exempt from taxation.

In affirming a 2016 decision by the state Appellate Tax Board and denying the Boston Board of Assessors' appeal, Supreme Judicial Court Justice Elspeth Cypher invoked the “great integral machine doctrine” of 1866, saying the salient question was whether the pipes at issue were in fact exempt machinery or simply pipes.

Referencing the court's 1979 decision in Lowell Gas v. Commissioner of...

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