Hendrickson Trucking, Inc. v. ODOT

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 04-29-2015
  • Case #: A152415
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OAR 137-003-0528, if an issue of fact is in dispute, ODOT must provide a hearing to determine whether good cause exists for a late petition for reassessment of road-use taxes.

Hendrickson Trucking, Inc. (Hendrickson) appealed an order from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) denying reassessment of highway use taxes. In its order, ODOT declared that Hendrickson had not filed its request for reassessment on time, and had failed to show good cause for the tardiness. ODOT audited Hendrickson’s “weight-mile” tax records for the years 2009-2011 and determined that Hendrickson owed approximately $350,000. Hendrickson petitioned for reassessment two weeks late, and ODOT requested a showing of “good cause” for the delay. Unsatisfied with Hendrickson’s response, ODOT issued a final order finding no good cause for the delay. On review, Hendrickson argued that ODOT unlawfully failed to hold a hearing to determine whether good cause existed for the delay, and additionally argued that ODOT’s order lacked substantial reason or explanation in finding no good cause for Hendrickson’s tardiness. The Court determined on review that OAR 137-003-0528 requires ODOT to hold a hearing to determine whether good cause exists for timely notice; failure to do so warrants reversal. Turning to the merits, the Court held that even if a hearing were not required, ODOT failed to explain its rationale in its final order, therefore the order was legally insufficient. Vacated and remanded for reconsideration.

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