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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. 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 in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

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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