In DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, the United States Supreme Court, under the pen of Chief Justice Roberts, unanimously held that state taxpayers did not have Article III standing to challenge local property tax abatements and investment tax credits given to DaimlerChrysler Corporation ("Daimler"). Claiming standing as municipal and state taxpayers, the plaintiffs challenged the City of Toledo and the State of Ohio's decisions to offer Daimler certain exemptions from and reductions of its local property and state franchise taxes. The Court held that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the injury-in-fact and redressability requirements of standing because their alleged injury was too "'conjectural or hypothetical."' As a result, the Court never reached the merits of the case where the plaintiffs had claimed that the tax breaks violated the dormant, or negative, Commerce Clause. Therefore, whether state tax incentives to corporations violate the dormant Commerce Clause is a question that will remain unanswered for now. This note (1) considers the broader implications of the Court's refusal to reach the merits of dormant Commerce Clause analysis as it relates to states granting investment incentives to big businesses and (2) analyzes several scholarly options for a better dormant Commerce Clause analysis of state tax incentives. Ironically enough, DaimlerChrysler is noteworthy for what it did not decide.
"DaimlerChrysler v. Cuno: The Supreme Court Hits the Brakes on Determining the Constitutionality of Investment Incentives Given by States to Corporate America,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 58
, Article 15.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol58/iss4/15