Ala. Judge Blocks City Tax On BNSF Railway Fuel Purchases

By Paul Williams (December 1, 2021, 5:53 PM EST) -- BNSF Railway Co. is entitled to a $1.25 million refund of an Alabama city's diesel fuel tax, a state judge ruled Wednesday, finding an Eleventh Circuit decision barring the state from imposing discriminatory taxes on railroads applies to localities.

The city of Birmingham's motor fuel excise tax on diesel fuel as applied to BNSF is nullified under the federal Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act, or 4-R Act, which prohibits discriminatory taxes against railroads, Judge Robert Vance of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County ruled in a four-page opinion.

Judge Vance cited the Eleventh Circuit's 2018 ruling in CSX Transp. Inc. v....

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