In its 2019 Spring Term, the Supreme Court published five decisions regarding tax matters, three of which limit states’ taxing authority. In a February decision, Dawson v. Steager, the Court held that a state cannot tax a federal retiree’s pension benefits while declining to tax a similarly situated state retiree. The March decision in BNSF Railway Co. v. Loos held that lost wages paid to a worker who was injured on the job constitute taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act. Later in March, the Court held in Washington State Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den that a state tax imposed on a member of the Yakama Nation on importation of fuel via public highway is pre-empted by the 1855 Treaty Between the United States and the Yakama Nation of Indians. Then, in May, in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, the Court held that a state may not be sued in another state’s court in a private suit, unless it waives immunity. Finally, the Court issued its decision in North Carolina Department of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust, covered in a separate Disputing Tax post available here.

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