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Issaquah Law Group - Injury Litigation Attorneys

TRUST: Personal injuries are personal. Which is why the attorneys at ILG treat every client and every case differently. Because they are different, and extremely personal. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built on trust. Trust that you will be heard. Trust that you will be protected. Trust that every effort will be made to see justice done in your case. The singular goal of every ILG attorney is to earn and preserve that trust.

EXPERIENCE: ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals and we bring this experience to bear on behalf of our clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents, bus versus pedestrian accidents, defective and dangerous products, medical malpractice, slip/trip and fall accidents, and catastrophic losses due to fire.

LOCATION: We are located on the Eastside in Issaquah, convenient to Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Renton, Sammamish and North Bend. However, we provide legal services in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County and throughout the entire state of Washington.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

WA Supreme Court: Using Gas is the Burning, Not the Transporting

GP Gypsum Corp. v. State

People really get paid to make a most asinine arguments possible. They do this under the guise of advocacy, taking positions that are ludicrous and arguing them with a straight face, “for their client.”

Case in point: GP would get assessed a tax for use of gas within the state. The statute allows the city, but does not require the city, to impose such a tax. Tacoma did just that. GP argued that its use was in the actual burning up the gas in Tacoma, but was the transporting of the gas prior to it reaching Tacoma. You can guess how that argument went (or I can simply let you read further, and know for sure):

Instead, we look to the ordinary meaning of "use," a definitional basis also recognized in former RCW 82.12.010(2). "Use" ordinarily means to "consume." Webster's Third New International Dictionary 2523-24 (2002). Gypsum does not dispute that it consumes natural gas in its manufacturing process; therefore, it uses natural gas in the city of Tacoma as the term "use" is ordinarily understood. We hold that the tax levied against Gypsum under RCW 82.14.230(1) was proper.

In so holding, we recognize that it is unusual for corresponding state and local taxes to be triggered by different taxable events.[4] But that is exactly what the legislature intended here, assuming Gypsum is correct that the taxable event for the purposes of the state BNG tax is the point at which the taxpayer first takes dominion and control of the gas in the state. In any case, it is clear that the legislature created the local BNG tax to stand in for a local public utility tax when an industrial user purchases its gas from a broker outside the city where it does business. The statute authorizing the tax must be construed to give effect to this purpose. If we were to apply the disputed portion of the definitional statute to Gypsum's activities, then every purchaser of natural gas could simply avoid a local tax by purchasing gas in an unincorporated area of the state, rendering RCW 82.14.230(1) ineffective to accomplish its purpose. We cannot endorse an interpretation of the statutes at issue that leads to this absurd result. J.P., 149 Wn.2d at 450.


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