October 9, 1981
You inquire whether ********** ("Carrier"), is subject to taxation under General Laws Chapter 64A on its purchases of gasoline. The Carrier, which is a "regional transit authority" organized under Chapter 161B, provides common carrier service **********. It operates a "dial-a-ride" system which uses small van-type vehicles that are fueled at various gasoline stations.
General Laws Chapter 64A, Section 4, requires that every distributor, unclassified exporter, unclassified importer, and oil company pay a tax on gasoline. Section 9 of Chapter 64A states that "the tax in every instance shall be borne by the purchaser…" Under Section 1(e) of Chapter 64A, the definition of purchaser includes "its usual meaning."
General Laws Chapter 161B, Section 13 provides:
"[a]n authority and all its real and personal property shall be exempt from taxation and from betterments and special assessments; and an authority shall not be required to pay any tax, excise or assessment to or for the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions; nor shall an authority be required to pay any fee or charge for any permit or license issued to it by the commonwealth, by any department, board or officer thereof, or by any political subdivision of the commonwealth, or by any department, board or officer of such political subdivision. Bonds and notes issued by an authority, their transfer and the income therefrom, including any profit made on the sale thereof, shall at all times be free from taxation within the commonwealth."
Based on the foregoing, it is ruled that the Carrier is not subject to taxation on its purchases of gasoline.
Very truly yours,
/s/L. Joyce Hampers
L. Joyce Hampers
Commissioner of Revenue