Supreme Court will not hear harbor maintenance tax cases
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied petitions for certiorari in two cases concerning the imposition of harbor maintenance taxes on import and domestic shipments.
In Thomson Multimedia Inc. v. the United States, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had upheld the imposition of harbor maintenance taxes on import shipments.
In the second case, CF Industries Inc., v. the United States, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had upheld the imposition of such taxes on domestic shipments.
These two cases raised the question as to whether harbor maintenance taxes violated uniformity and port preference clauses of federal law.
In regard to the import levy, the claim was also made before the Supreme Court that, because the high court had previously held the Harbor Maintenance Tax statute to be unconstitutional in regard to exports — in United States v. United States Shoe Corp. (1998) — that such taxes could not be collected against imports as well. The court declined to hear any of the claims presented to it.
Based on these certiorari denials, the government is now likely to move for dismissal of numerous cases involving harbor maintenance taxes that are pending at the Court of International Trade.