Jones County School District v. Mississippi Department of Revenue

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Three main issues were raised on appeal to the Supreme Court in this case: (1) whether a school district is liable for oil and gas severance taxes on its royalty interests derived from oil and gas production on sixteenth-section land (the chancellor ruled that it is not); (2) whether the statute of limitations restricts the time period in which a school district can seek a refund of severance taxes that it had paid erroneously (the chancellor ruled that a three-year statute of limitations applied to any refund claims); and (3) whether a school district is liable for administrative expense taxes on its royalty interests derived from oil and gas production on sixteenth-section land (the chancellor ruled that it is). Upon review of the applicable code and in consideration of the arguments of the parties to this case, the Supreme Court found that the chancellor's judgment should be affirmed in part and reversed in part: (1) school districts are not liable for oil and gas severance taxes on sixteenth-section royalty interests: school districts, as political subdivisions of the state, are not included within the definition of "persons" made subject to these taxes; (2) pursuant to the Mississippi Constitution, statutes of limitation in civil causes do not run against the state or its subdivisions; and (3) school districts are liable for administrative expense taxes on sixteenth-section royalty interests: "[t]hese assessments are 'fees,' not 'taxes'; the Legislature has expressly made the state and its subdivisions subject to these fees; and no constitutional provision or other law is violated by requiring school districts to pay them." View "Jones County School District v. Mississippi Department of Revenue" on Justia Law