• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court struck down a tax on an out-of-state solid waste fee that was three times higher than the in-state tax on solid waste.

Oregon placed a higher tax on solid wastes coming from out of state than those originating within the state. Oregon courts had determined that the tax was merely compensatory; however, the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed and ruled against the tax. Justice Clarence ThomasThomas, Clarence;Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality[Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality] wrote the opinion for the 7-2 majority, holding that the Oregon tax was discriminatory on its face and violated the commerce clause. Thomas found that although states had broad authority to tax, taxation must not unduly affect interstate commerce or benefit their citizens except incidentally. The Oregon courts’ conclusions found support in the dissenting opinion of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who was joined by Justice Harry A. Blackmun.Commerce clause;Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality[Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality]Environmental law;Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality[Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality]

Commerce, regulation of

Environmental law

Federalism

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