Rule 6-103. District court tax judges.

Intent:

To designate certain district court judges as tax judges.

To establish a procedure whereby district court tax cases are heard by designated tax judges.

To designate a supervising tax judge.

Applicability:

This rule shall apply to district court judges.

Statement of the Rule:

(1) The Judicial Council shall formally designate at least three district court judges who volunteer as tax judges. In making the designation, the Judicial Council shall consider the knowledge and experience of the judge in relation to the theory and practice of ad valorem, excise, income, sales and use, and corporate taxation.

(2) If a party to a case involving taxation makes a request, as part of the complaint, petition for review, or first responsive pleading, to have the case assigned to a tax judge, the case will be assigned to a tax judge. Thereafter, a request to have the case assigned to a tax judge may be granted in the discretion of the judge assigned to the case.

(3) Assignment of cases involving taxation to a tax judge shall be made on a random basis. Assignment will include an adjustment in the judge's calendar to allow the judge to handle the case.

(4) For purposes of this Rule 6-103, cases involving taxation include:

(i) appeals from and petitions for review of decisions of the Utah State Tax Commission;

(ii) actions brought for recovery of a tax or portion of a tax paid under protest; and

(iii) cases which originate under Section 59-2-402 of the Utah Code relating to transitory personal property.

(5) The tax judges shall elect one of the tax judges to be the supervising tax judge. The term of office of the supervising tax judge is two years beginning July 1. The supervising tax judge shall be primarily responsible for:

(i) the assignment of taxation cases to tax judges;

(ii) the coordination of schedules of tax judges and the assignment of courtrooms and facilities in conjunction with the state court administrator and the presiding judge of each district court;

(iii) addressing concerns of tax judges, other district court judges, or the Judicial Council regarding the management of district court taxation cases;

(iv) overseeing the tax education of the tax judges, in conjunction with the Standing Committee on Judicial Branch Education and the Education Division of the Administrative Office of the Courts;

(v) presiding over meetings of the tax judges; and

(vi) the use of law clerk resources to develop tax expertise, to assist the tax judges, and to facilitate consistency in the development of case precedents in the tax area and otherwise assist in the transition as new tax judges are designated.

(6) If a tax judge decides a taxation case of first impression, or one which creates new law or gives new guidance, the tax judge shall cause an opinion of the case to be published. An opinion need not be published where the case deals with settled rules of law.

(7) Tax judges shall serve only so long as they are district court judges. Tax judges may, however, resign as tax judges, at their own request or the request of the Judicial Council, while still serving as district court judges.

(8) If a tax judge does not have a full workload of taxation cases, the judge shall hear non-tax district court cases to maintain a full workload of cases.