Appeals court upholds dismissal of NISCO consolidated tax case

By Carrie Salls | May 22, 2018

LAKE CHARLES – The Louisiana Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an opinion May that upheld an order from the 14th Judicial District Court in Calcasieu Parish that decided procedural issues and ordered dismissal of a consolidated tax case involving taxpayer and Lake Charles electric generating company Nelson Industrial Steam Co. (NISCO) and the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

LAKE CHARLES – The Louisiana Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an opinion May that upheld an order from the 14th Judicial District Court in Calcasieu Parish that decided procedural issues and ordered dismissal of a consolidated tax case involving taxpayer and Lake Charles electric generating company Nelson Industrial Steam Co. (NISCO) and the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

The appeals court said a judgment was entered in NISCO’s favor in the case involving claims filed by the company and Louisiana Department of Revenue Secretary Cynthia Bridges.

NISCO claimed in support of its appeal of a June 29, 2017 judgment that “the district court erred in not granting NISCO’s motion to vacate the ex parte order granting leave to file (Calcasieu Parish School System Sales and Use Tax Department’s) ‘amended answer and reconventional demand,’” and allowing the demand to remain on the case record.

In addition, NISCO argued that “the district court erred in including incorrect and misleading language in the judgment indicating that it was granting NISCO’s exception of lack of jurisdiction over the principle actions in the (lawsuit) when the basis of NISCO’s exception, and the court’s ruling in open court, was that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction.”

The appeals court upheld the district court’s judgment on those issues and ordered NISCO to cover all appeal-related court costs.

According to the order, the issue in question centers on four separate consolidated tax cases, two of which were filed by Bridges against NISCO seeking payment of taxes allegedly owed by the company and the other two filed by NISCO against the school system tax department, that sught “the refund of taxes paid under protest.”

NISCO claims that its ability to tax its electric sales are limited by the fact that it buys limestone to produce ash, which is subject to the “further processing exclusion” of a state law that narrows the scope of taxable sales, according to court documents.

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