Delta Logistics, Inc. v. Employment Dept. Tax Section

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Tax Law
  • Date Filed: 09-14-2017
  • Case #: S064380
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Kistler, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Walters,J.; Landau, J.; Nakamoto, J.; Duncan, J.; & Linder, S.J. pro tempore
  • Full Text Opinion

Work that does not constitute “employment” for the purposes of unemployment insurance taxes under ORS 657.047(1)(b) is: “transportation performed by motor vehicle for a for-hire carrier by any person that leases their equipment to a for-hire carrier and that personally operates, furnishes, and maintains the equipment and provides service thereto."

The Employment Department Tax Section (“EDTS”) appealed a Court of Appeals judgment that found that Delta Logistics, Inc. did not violate ORS 657.047(1)(b) by applying the tax exemption as prescribed in the statute to apply to “for-hire carrier” employees. EDTS argued that in order to be applicable to ORS 657.047(1)(b), the owner must be the only person who operates the truck. In response, Delta Logistics, Inc. argued that looking at ORS 657.047 as a whole in conjunction with the legislative history, the word “personally” does not require that the lessor of the truck be the only person operating the truck. Work that does not constitute “employment” for the purposes of unemployment insurance taxes under ORS 657.047(1)(b) is: “transportation performed by motor vehicle for a for-hire carrier by any person that leases their equipment to a for-hire carrier and that personally operates, furnishes, and maintains the equipment and provides service thereto." The Oregon Supreme Court held that Court of Appeals did not err because the text, context, and legislative history of ORS 657.047 demonstrates owner-operated for-hire carriers with hired employees are included in the exemption. Affirmed.

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