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Ben Hur Steel Worx, LLC v. Director of Revenue

Supreme Court of Missouri, En Banc

January 13, 2015

BEN HUR STEEL WORX, LLC, Appellant,
v.
DIRECTOR OF REVENUE, Respondent

Argued and Submitted December 3, 2014

PETITION FOR REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING COMMISSION. The Honorable Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi, Commissioner.

Ben Hur was represented by Marc H. Ellinger, James B. Deutsch and Thomas R. Schwartz Jr. of Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch LC in Jefferson City.

Ben Hur, the director was represented by Deputy Solicitor General Jeremiah J. Morgan of the attorney general's office in Jefferson City.

Ben Hur, Spencer A. Martin of the department of revenue in Jefferson City.

Zel M. Fischer, Judge. All concur.

OPINION

Zel M. Fischer, Judge.

Page 625

Ben Hur Steel Worx, LLC (" Ben Hur" ) is a subcontractor that purchases steel beams and other steel components that are used to fulfill its contracts to construct steel frames for large-scale commercial buildings and structures. Ben Hur petitioned the Director of Revenue for sales and use tax refunds under § 144.054.2.[1] The Director denied the request, and Ben Hur appealed to the Administrative Hearing Commission (" AHC" ). The AHC decided that Ben Hur did not meet the requirements for a tax exemption under § 144.054.2 and affirmed the Director's denial of Ben Hur's request for sales and use tax refunds. Ben Hur then petitioned this Court for review of the AHC's decision. The decision of the AHC is affirmed.

Factual and Procedural Background

Ben Hur's refund applications were for various months in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and sought nearly $200,000. The AHC found the following facts:

1. Ben Hur is a Missouri limited liability corporation, which was 50% owned by Ben Hur Construction Company at all times relevant to this case.
2. One of Ben Hur's business endeavors is subcontracting with commercial construction companies for the provision of labor, materials, and equipment necessary to furnish and install structural steel beams, plates, angles, and other components in the process of construction of large scale commercial buildings and structures. During the relevant time, Ben Hur would often partner with Ben Hur Construction Company to accomplish installation for these jobs.
3. In order to fulfill its contractual obligations, Ben Hur buys steel beams and steel plates directly from steel mills, at times when the mills are producing the size and shape Ben Hur needs for a particular project, or from steel supply houses that keep ...

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