Standard Oil Faces Class Action Over Tax Charges

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Standard Oil of Connecticut is being taken to federal court in a class action suit filed by 2 gas station owners in Stamford, Connecticut. The suit alleges that the oil company wrongfully charged the station owners federal taxes, which were included in the price of gasoline.

The 2 station owners allege that beginning in 2005 Standard Oil charged them an 18.4 cent tax on every gallon of fuel they purchased, which added to up to roughly 5 million gallons of ethanol-blended fuel. However, a federal tax break for gasoline containing ethanol had been introduced which was meant to reduce the tax to 13.3 cents per gallon.

"The defendant had actual knowledge that the federal gasoline tax was less than 18.4 cents a gallon, and if it did not have actual knowledge, it should have known the actual amount of taxes due in the exercise of reasonable diligence," the suit said.

As part of the suit records will be requested to determine if Standard Oil sold fuel to any franchise owners at the reduced tax rate.

The plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement of the taxes they paid, injunctive relief barring Standard from overcharging for fuel, and blocking Standard from operating competing gas stations.

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