Conference SummaryHilton Capitol Center Baton Rouge, Louisiana September 30-October 3, 2007
To State Tax Administrators:
The 2007 Annual FTA Motor Fuel Tax Section Meeting was held September
30 – October 3, 2007, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This bulletin summarizes
the presentations from the conference. It also summarizes the Motor
Fuel Section Annual Business Meeting. Copies
of the Resolutions approved at the Business Meeting are attached.
Copies of Papers/Presentations are available for download.
Presiding over the conference was Michael Harrell, from the State of Delaware and the Motor Fuel Tax Section National Chair.
GENERAL SESSION –MONDAY
The conference started with the presentation of colors by the Honor Guard, Constable’s Office, City of Baton Rouge. Then, Brandon Hendrickson performed the United States Anthem and Cat Thomson performed the Canadian Anthem.
Michael Harrell, from the State of Delaware and National Chair of the FTA Motor Fuel Tax Section, welcomed everyone to Louisiana. He also performed roll call of the states.
Shirley Bonaccorso, Assistant Director of Tax Administration
for Louisiana Department of Revenue introduced Cynthia Bridges, Secretary
of Louisiana Department of Revenue. Cynthia Bridges welcomed everyone
to Louisiana and gave a brief overview of interesting things to see and
do in Baton Rouge. She thanked all the participants for attending the
David Retz, Senior Tax Counsel – Excise, Chevron, gave an update for the American Petroleum Institute (API). He addressed Federal and State Legislation, API activities, and refinery operations.
Scott Fisher, Vice President of Policy and Public Affairs, Texas Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, gave an update for the Petroleum Marketers Association of American (PMAA). He addressed retail agreements with credit card companies, renewable fuels, refinery capacity and the turnover rate of convenience store employees.
Donna Alderman, Revenue Administration Officer III, North Carolina Department of Revenue and Uniformity Committee State Co-Chair gave an update on uniformity, introduced the Uniformity Committees and gave the 2008 meeting locations. Robert Donnellan, Senior Tax Manager, Global Companies, LLC, and Uniformity Committee Industry Co-Chair gave awards to the following:
State of Texas for their continued efforts in improvements to Uniform Reporting, combating Tax Evasion and the 11 point plan accepted by Jimmy Archer, Chief, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and National Vice Chair; State of Florida for their continued efforts in improvements to Uniform Reporting, combating Tax Evasion and the 11 point plan as well as providing the Uniformity Books and CDs accepted by Edward Gonzalez, Revenue Program Administrator, Florida Department of Revenue; State of Massachusetts for their continued efforts in improvements to Uniform Reporting, combating Tax Evasion and the 11 point plan accepted by Allan Ferullo, Tax Auditor II; Kathryn McKee, Marathon Oil was given the Industry Award for her continued efforts in improvements to Uniform Electronic Filing, Combating Tax Evasion and the 11 point plan; Cindy Anders – Robb, Motor Fuel Tax Associate, Federation of Tax Administrators and Past National Chair was given a award for her continue support of the Motor Fuel Tax Section.
Charles Greenough, Manager, Canadian Fuel Tax Council, gave an update on uniformity from the Canadian Fuel Tax Council. He discussed the Vision Update, By-laws, revised and E-Filing.
Rich Little, Senior Program Analyst of the Internal Revenue Service, introduced the panel for the Internal Revenue Update. The panel included Michael Rhea, Policy; Darren Lefebvre, JOC; John Calabrese, ExStars Update; Larry Porter, National Fuel Territory; and Jennifer Butcher, FCO’s. Michael Rhea, explained that Policy provides technical assistance to the IRS Counsel and Field Agents as well as to States and Industry; Darren Lefebvre, explained that the JOC is a collaboration between the IRS, FHWA and States to improve information sharing and decision analysis; John Calabrese, provided an ExStars Update; Larry Porter, National Fuel Territory discussed compliance and enforcement actions; and Jennifer Butcher, FCO’s discussed Federal/State Agreements.
Two concurrent sessions were repeated in the afternoon.
International Movement of Fuel
Guy Ste Marie, Analyst, Revenue Quebec, was the moderator for this session. The panel included: Darren Weiner, Senior Rulings Officer, Canada Revenue Agency, Robert Crawford, Retired Assistant Director, Maryland Comptroller-Motor Fuel, and Dar Walters, Fuels Tax Manager, Idaho Tax Commission. Darren Weiner discussed Fuel Movement between Canada & US by marine barges, pipeline, rail and truck and Information Sharing Agreements. Robert Crawford, discussed the methods used by Maryland to acquire fuel after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Dar Walters, discussed Railroad reporting.
National Diversion Registry
Carol Player, Auditor, South Carolina and Past National
Chair, was moderator and panelist for this session. The panel also included
Dan Farish, Manager, Excise Tax, Murphy Oil, Cory
Martin, FuelTrac Developer, Trac III Systems, LLC, Robert
Martin, FuelTrac Help Coordinator, Trac III Systems, LLC and
Scott Martin, FuelTrac Security, Trac III Systems, LLC.
Carol Player and Dan Farish provided a view on how diversions work from
state perspective and industry perspective. , Cory Martin, Robert Martin,
and Scott Martin, provided a hands on demonstration of the National Diversion
The four regions (Midwestern, Northeastern, Pacific, and Southern) conducted their separate meetings to review the 2007 activities and plan for the 2008 activities.
GENERAL SESSION –TUESDAY
John Penacho, Tax Manager, Sprague Energy Corporation presented on Ethanol.
Ralph Erickson, Division Chief, Federal Highway Funding & Motor Fuel Division, Federal Highway Administration presented on Federal Highway Form 551.
Robert Turner, FTMA Bureau Chief, Montana Department of Transportation gave an update on a National Study Research Project and the Montana Study on Motor Fuel Tax Evasion.
David Nemchik, Fuels Tax Operations Manager, Oregon Department of Transportation, provided an update on Oregon’s VMT—The Oregon Road User Fee Concept & Pilot Program.
Marc Papandrea, Tax Unit Manager, Connecticut Department of Revenue and Services, extended an invitation to the 2008 FTA Motor Fuel Tax Section Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held on September 21-24 in Hartford, Connecticut.
Peter Staffens, Revenue Program Administrator, Florida Department of Revenue and Past National Chair of the FTA Motor Fuel Tax Section, presented the Robert Beck Award to Robert (Bob) Crawford from the State of Maryland.
The National Chairs Report was given by Michael Harrell, from the State of Delaware and National Chair of the FTA Motor Fuel Tax Section. He gave out the following awards:
Julian Fitzgerald, State of North Carolina for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section; Carol Player, State of South Carolina for her continued leadership and participation in all areas of the Motor Fuel Tax Section; Guy Ste-Marie, Province of Quebec for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section and for fostering strong International Relations; Donna Alderman, State of North Carolina for her dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section and Uniformity Committee; Dar Walters, State of Idaho for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section; Sherri Alston, Federal Highway Administration for her dedication and support to the Motor Fuel Tax Section; Herman Wisenski, State of Minnesota for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section Uniformity Committee and the Motor Fuel Tax Section Training Courses; Robert Donnellan, Global LLC for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section Training Courses; William Gray, Sinclair Oil for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Section Training Courses; SGT. Dickie Hass, State of Texas for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Training Courses; William McInerney, State of Wyoming for his dedication and contributions to the Motor Fuel Tax Training Courses.
Two concurrent sessions were repeated in the afternoon.
Internal Revenue Class
Herman Wisneski, Tax Specialist, Minnesota Department of Revenue, introduced Rich Little, Senior Program Analyst of the Internal Revenue Service. Rich Little presented “All you want to know about IRS Bio Fuels”. He reviewed the notices relating to Bio Fuels, terminology and registration.
Jimmy Archer, Chief, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and National Vice Chair was the moderator for this session. The panel included Charles Greenough, Manager, Canadian Fuel Tax Council, SGT. James Harris, Southeast Texas Supervisor, Texas Comptroller., David Paldy, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, New York State Organized Crime Task Force and Alec Zef, Senior Investigator, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Charles Greenough discussed some tax evasion schemes that he encountered such as diverting aviation fuel for diesel fuel, import/export involving milk trucks or crossing international borders and bleaching, dyeing and masking operations. James Harris discussed a short loading scheme and a case involving following trucks from Louisiana and a Texas Refinery. The 6 companies received a total of 30 indictments. David Paldy, and Alec Zef, discussed 4 schemes by La Cosa Nostra (Mafia) and prosecution of the cases in New York.
Annual Business Meeting—Tuesday
The business meeting started with the roll call of states. Presiding over the meeting was Michael Harrell, from the State of Delaware and the Motor Fuel Tax Section National Chair.
The four regional meeting updates were given as follows:
Sharon Gostovich- Pacific Regional Meeting was held April 29 - May 2, 2007 in Tucson, AZ
Marc Papandrea- Northeastern Regional Meeting was held May 20-22, 2007 in Cherry Hill , NJ
Wilda Ice-Southern Regional Meeting was held June 17-19, 2007 in Wilmington, NC
Mark Ratliff-Midwestern Regional was held June 25-27, 2007 in Indianapolis, IN
Time and Place Committee, Julian Fitzgerald, Sr., State of North Carolina announced the locations for the upcoming annual meetings:
2008 Hartford, CT
2009 Oklahoma City, OK
2010 Montana (tentatively)
Resolutions Committee, Roland Marr, State of Illinois sought approval to the ten (10) resolutions. All resolutions were approved and can be view online.
Nominations Committee, Lou Feltto, State of California announced the nominations for 2008. Jimmy Archer, Texas, was nominated and approved for the 2008 Motor Fuel Tax Section Chair and Herman Wisneski, was nominated and approved as the 2008 Motor Fuel Tax Section Vice Chair.
GENERAL SESSION –WEDNESDAY
Scott Fisher, Vice President of Policy & Public Affairs, Texas Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association presented on the effects National Disasters have on fuel supply. He discussed the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita as well as Texas’ plans on how to react next time there is a disaster.
Alan Weber, gave an update for the National Bio Diesel Board. He spoke about the industry and future legislation on biodiesel.
Bill Kron, Tax Specialist, Mississippi Tax Commission gave a presentation on ExSTARS/ExTOLE.