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Bridges v. National Financial Systems, Inc.

960 So. 2d 202 (2007)

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Bridges v. National Financial Systems, Inc.

Louisiana Court of Appeal

960 So. 2d 202 (2007)

Facts

National Financial Systems, Inc., (NFS) (defendant) leased modular banking units to banks in Louisiana. The units were designed to be moved to a location and temporarily installed on a concrete slab for use as a bank building, typically for one or two years. Once the lease had expired, NFS would remove the unit, lease it to another bank, and install it in a new location. The lease documents between NFS and the various banks highlighted that the units were portable and temporary in nature. The State of Louisiana’s Department of Revenue (the state) (plaintiff) conducted an audit of NFS and found that NFS had not paid any taxes in connection to the leases of these modular banking units. The state claimed that the leases were taxable because the units were corporeal movable property and sued NFS to collect the back taxes and penalties. NFS alleged that the state had incorrectly classified the units, claiming that the units were in fact buildings and therefore the leases were not taxable. The trial court held that the units were corporeal movable property, relying mainly on language in the leasing documents, and granted the state’s motion for summary judgment. NFS appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McClendon, J.)

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