DRS: Ruling 97-4, Sales and Use Taxes / Commercial Truck Exemption / Storage Trailers

 

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SERVICES

450 Columbus Blvd
Hartford CT 06103
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Ruling 97-4

Sales and Use Taxes
Commercial Truck Exemption
Storage Trailers


FACTS:

A company (the "Company") leases empty trailers to its customers, which park such trailers on their premises and use them to store perishable items. Most of the trailers rented by the Company have a gross vehicle weight rating of over 26,000 pounds.


ISSUES:

Whether trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds which are parked and used for storage may be purchased or leased under the exemption in Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-412(70) for commercial trucks, truck tractors, tractors and semitrailers, and vehicles used in combination therewith.


DISCUSSION:

Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-412(70) exempts sales, rentals and leases of commercial trucks, truck tractors, tractors and semitrailers, and vehicles used in combination therewith, which have a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds or are operated actively and exclusively for the carriage of interstate freight. Since the trailers leased by the Company are used by its customers for storage (and not for the carriage of interstate freight), the portion of the exemption relating to trailers used in interstate commerce is not pertinent, and only those trailers leased by the Company to its customers which have a gross vehicle weight rating in excess 26,000 pounds may qualify for exemption.

Although semitrailers are listed in connection with tractors in the exemption, trailers are also "vehicles" under Conn. Gen. Stat. 14-1(a)(90) ("any device suitable for the conveyance, drawing or other transportation of persons or property, whether operated on wheels, runners, a cushion of air or by any other means . . . "), even if they are not registered or actually used to convey property, because they are "suitable" for the conveyance of property. (See, for example, Ruling No. 95-8, in which the Department ruled that a truck chassis was exempt at the time of its purchase, as long as it was "suitable" for having freight hauling apparatuses mounted on it, even if it was later put to a different use.) Furthermore, because "trailer" is defined under Conn. Gen. Stat. 14-1(a)(83) as "any rubber-tired vehicle without motive power drawn or propelled by a motor vehicle," trailers fit within the class of "commercial trucks, truck tractors, tractors and semitrailers, and vehicles used in combination therewith." Storage trailers purchased separately from truck tractors therefore qualify for exemption under Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-412(70) if they have a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds, as long as they remain suitable for use on the road (for example, as long as the wheels of the trailers are not removed) to transport property.


RULING:

Trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds may be purchased or leased under the exemption in Conn. Gen. Stat. 12-412(70) as long as such trailers remain suitable for use on the road to convey property.


LEGAL DIVISION

Issued August 26, 1997