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Ind. taxpayers lose high court fight over refunds

•  National News     updated  2012/06/04 09:31


The Supreme Court has turned down homeowners in Indianapolis who sought tax refunds when the city changed its plan for paying for a new sewer line.

In a 6-3 ruling Monday, the court upheld the city's decision to refuse to refund taxes that some homeowners paid up front while it forgave the remaining taxes for people who paid on an installment plan.

Those who paid in full complained that the disparate treatment violated the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause.

But Justice Stephen Breyer said in his majority opinion that Indianapolis acted properly in changing the payment system because it wanted to reduce the administrative headaches of debt collection.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts said the court was wrong to endorse such a gross disparity in tax treatment.




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