Saturday, October 24, 2009
Nebraska Supreme Court finds that meatpackers' payments to cleaning companies were subject to sales taxes, reverses Lancaster County District Court that hand found Department of Revenue regulations that required packers to pay the sales taxes went beyond revenue statute § 77-2701.16(4)(a). Swift & Co. v. Nebraska Dept. of Rev., S-08-1095 through S-08-1099, 278 Neb. 763 Specialized cleaning services for meatpackers cleaned all the equipment fixtures, areas of the plants and the packers paid sale taxes on the services. Packers sought refunds and sued in Lancaster County District Court when the Department of Revenue denied their refund claims. The District Court Judge found Reg. 1-098.03A unlawfully expands the definition of services covered by § 77-2701.16(4)(a). Supreme Court, CJ Heavican reverses: "the Department did not exceed the scope of its rule making authority. Although other sections of the statute specifically mention personal property, those situations are distinguishable... also Reg. 1-098.03A contemplates that the cleaning of tangible personal property must be incidental to cleaning the building. As pointed out by the Department, most cleaning contracts contemplate at least some cleaning of personal property located within the building...Therefore..Reg. 1-098.03A did not exceed the Department’s rule making authority and that the taxpayers are not entitled to a refund ."