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Oral Arguments before the Intermediate Court of Appeals

No. 29597 – Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 9:00 A.M.

In the Matter of the Tax Appeal of COMPUSA STORES L.P., Taxpayer-Appellant, vs. STATE OF HAWAII, DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION, Appellee.

Attorney(s) for Taxpayer-AppellantRay K. Kamikawa, Leroy E. Colombe and Adrienne S. Yoshihara (Chun, Kerr,
Dodd, Beaman & Wong)

Attorney(s) for Appellee
Honorable Mark J. Bennett, Attorney General and Hugh R. Jones and Damien A. Elefante, Deputies Attorney General

COURT:    Foley, Fujise and Leonard, JJ.

SPECIAL NOTE:    The above argument will take place in the Supreme Court courtroom on the Second Floor of Aliʻiolani Hale, 417 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii.

[ Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format ]

Brief description:   
Appellant/Appellant CompUSA Stores L.P. (CompUSA) appeals from a December 22, 2008 judgment entered by the Land and Tax Appeal Court.  CompUSA seeks relief from the State Department of Taxation’s imposition of a use tax, pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) § 238-2, on the shipments of certain tangible personal property for resale (Audited Transactions), from the mainland to CompUSA’s Hawaii retail stores, between July 1, 1999 and December 31, 2002 (Audit Period).  CompUSA argues that the current version of the use tax statute, as amended by the legislature in 2004 and codified at HRS § 238-2 (Supp. 2004), may not be retroactively applied to the Audit Period.  CompUSA contends that this Court must apply the former use tax statute, as codified during the Audit Period at HRS § 238-2 (Supp. 1999).  Finally, CompUSA argues the State may not impose use tax on the Audited Transactions under HRS § 238-2 (Supp. 1999), citing Hawaii Supreme Court case law interpreting that version of the statute.