Timothy O'Toole commented on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl. The ruling held that federal Tax Injunction Act does not block a retail trade association from challenging Colorado's use tax notice and reporting requirements on out-of-state vendors as they come before the tax collection and assessment process.
The opinion drew a distinction between information reporting and tax collection activities but did not address another important procedural issue, the principle of comity -- where federal courts refrain from interfering with state fiscal operations. According to O'Toole, this is a significant open question. "Colorado didn't raise the comity issue in district court, but the Supreme Court seemed to say that there may be strong comity argument to be made here," he said. "This is certainly a strong win, but it may not be as strong a win as DMA had hoped for."