22-10 Tyree Oil Inc


On July 9, 2020, the Department issued an assessment for weight distance tax for periods in 2014. August 6, 2020, the Taxpayer submitted a formal protest of the assessment. The Taxpayer was located outside the state and used its vehicles to provide services to railroads. The Taxpayer argued that since it had paid port-of-entry tax, or trip tax, when it entered the state that it did not need to pay weight distance tax. Trip tax is a highway usage fee and is based on weight of the vehicle and the mileage the vehicle is driven on New Mexico roads. According to statute, trip tax “is imposed in lieu of registration fees and weight distance tax on the registrant, owner or operator of any foreign based commercial motor carrier vehicle….” The Hearing Officer determined that this meant that an out-of-state taxpayer that had paid trip tax was not subject to weight distance tax. The Hearing Officer also agreed with the Taxpayer’s argument that the Department’s assessment was improper and beyond the statute of limitations because the taxpayer was not a non-filer in this case because a weight distance return was not required to be filed. For both reasons, the Hearing Officer ordered the assessment to be abated and the protest was granted.