DIRECTV, INC., ET AL. V. RICHARD H. ROBERTS, COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE, STATE OF TENNESSEE - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 2, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General; and Mary Ellen Knack, Senior Counsel, for the appellant, Richard H. Roberts, Commissioner of Revenue.

Attorneys 2:

Stephen J. Jasper, Nashville, Tennessee; E. Joshua Rosenkranz and Jeremy N. Kudon, New York, New York; and Eric A. Shumsky, Washington, D.C., for the appellees, DIRECTV, Inc. and DISH Network L.L.C.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

Plaintiffs contend that the sales tax law unconstitutionally discriminates against satellite television providers. The law taxes the entire subscription fee billed to satellite customers while the first $15 of the subscription fee billed to cable customers is exempt. On crossmotions for summary judgment, the trial court found the sales tax law violated the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The Commissioner of Revenue appeals. Because we find that satellite providers and cable providers are not similarly situated for purposes of the Commerce Clause, we reverse.

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