49 U.S. Code § 11501 - Tax discrimination against rail transportation property

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(a) In this section—
(1) the term “assessment” means valuation for a property tax levied by a taxing district;
(2) the term “assessment jurisdiction” means a geographical area in a State used in determining the assessed value of property for ad valorem taxation;
(3) the term “rail transportation property” means property, as defined by the Board, owned or used by a rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part; and
(4) the term “commercial and industrial property” means property, other than transportation property and land used primarily for agricultural purposes or timber growing, devoted to a commercial or industrial use and subject to a property tax levy.
(b) The following acts unreasonably burden and discriminate against interstate commerce, and a State, subdivision of a State, or authority acting for a State or subdivision of a State may not do any of them:
(1) Assess rail transportation property at a value that has a higher ratio to the true market value of the rail transportation property than the ratio that the assessed value of other commercial and industrial property in the same assessment jurisdiction has to the true market value of the other commercial and industrial property.
(2) Levy or collect a tax on an assessment that may not be made under paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3) Levy or collect an ad valorem property tax on rail transportation property at a tax rate that exceeds the tax rate applicable to commercial and industrial property in the same assessment jurisdiction.
(4) Impose another tax that discriminates against a rail carrier providing transportation subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under this part.
(c) Notwithstanding section 1341 of title 28 and without regard to the amount in controversy or citizenship of the parties, a district court of the United States has jurisdiction, concurrent with other jurisdiction of courts of the United States and the States, to prevent a violation of subsection (b) of this section. Relief may be granted under this subsection only if the ratio of assessed value to true market value of rail transportation property exceeds by at least 5 percent the ratio of assessed value to true market value of other commercial and industrial property in the same assessment jurisdiction. The burden of proof in determining assessed value and true market value is governed by State law. If the ratio of the assessed value of other commercial and industrial property in the assessment jurisdiction to the true market value of all other commercial and industrial property cannot be determined to the satisfaction of the district court through the random-sampling method known as a sales assessment ratio study (to be carried out under statistical principles applicable to such a study), the court shall find, as a violation of this section—
(1) an assessment of the rail transportation property at a value that has a higher ratio to the true market value of the rail transportation property than the assessed value of all other property subject to a property tax levy in the assessment jurisdiction has to the true market value of all other commercial and industrial property; and
(2) the collection of an ad valorem property tax on the rail transportation property at a tax rate that exceeds the tax ratio rate applicable to taxable property in the taxing district.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 104–88, title I, § 102(a),Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 843.)
Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 11503 of this title prior to the general amendment of this subtitle by Pub. L. 104–88, § 102(a).
A prior section 11501,Pub. L. 95–473, Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1444; Pub. L. 96–448, title II, § 214(a)–(c)(1), Oct. 14, 1980, 94 Stat. 1913, 1915; Pub. L. 97–261, § 17(a),Sept. 20, 1982, 96 Stat. 1117; Pub. L. 99–521, § 11(a),Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2997; Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(34),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1370; Pub. L. 103–305, title VI, § 601(c),Aug. 23, 1994, 108 Stat. 1606; Pub. L. 103–311, title II, § 211(b)(2),Aug. 26, 1994, 108 Stat. 1689, related to Interstate Commerce Commission authority over intrastate transportation, prior to the general amendment of this subtitle by Pub. L. 104–88, § 102(a). See section 14501 of this title.
Effective Date

Chapter effective Jan. 1, 1996, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 104–88, see section 2 ofPub. L. 104–88, set out as a note under section 701 of this title.

 

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