Daily Tax Report: State provides authoritative coverage of state and local tax developments across the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, tracking legislative and regulatory updates,...
By Chris Marr
DISH Network’s challenge to a Florida telecom tax won’t get a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court after justices denied review to the case Jan. 8.
The satellite TV company aimed to overturn a Florida Supreme Court decision that upheld the state’s communications services tax, which according to the company discriminated against satellite TV providers. Satellite companies—including EchoStar, a predecessor to the current DISH Network business—initially sued Florida in 2005.
The lawsuit, like several similar cases from other states, claimed discrimination against interstate business interests in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. DISH Network argued Florida’s tax charges satellite TV companies a higher rate than cable TV companies, but the state argued the rate difference is justified because cable companies pay additional local taxes and fees. Federal law bars local taxes on satellite TV providers.
The U.S. Supreme Court had declined to review four previous satellite TV tax cases, and attorneys for Florida argued this latest petition failed to break any new legal ground to merit the high court’s review.
The Florida Supreme Court ruling from April 2017 marked the seventh case in which a state prevailed over DISH and/or DirecTV in nearly identical tax disputes, according to Florida’s brief opposing Supreme Court review.
Courts have taken slightly different approaches to the claims of discrimination under the commerce clause, with some finding cable and satellite TV providers aren’t similarly situated companies. Florida’s Supreme Court found they are similarly situated but that there’s no discrimination in favor of in-state business interests, partly because there’s no obvious in-state or out-of-state party in the case. The court found both cable and satellite TV providers to be interstate businesses.
Attorneys from the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi represented the state, including the state’s solicitor general, Amit Agarwal.
Attorneys from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP—led by Josh Rosenkranz in New York—represented DISH Network.
The case is EchoStar Satellite, LLC v. Fla. Dep’t of Revenue , U.S., No. 17-379, petition for review denied 1/8/18 .
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Marr in Atlanta at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2018 Tax Management Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)