In a ruling of October 16, 2017, the Constitutional Court ratified the legal principle established with the judgement of December 1, 2016 regarding the interpretation of the harmonising rule contained in Article 3 of the Economic Agreement, on the necessary adjustment of the tax system of the provinces to the General Tax Act in terms of terminology and concepts. The Court’s interpretation is that the “immobility of the amount arising from the correct application of the objective estimation is an intrinsic characteristic of that system for determining the tax base”. By failing to meet this characteristic, the precept challenged infringes the said harmonising rule and is unconstitutional and null and void.
For its part the High Court of Justice of the Basque Country, in its judgement of July 7, 2017, rejected the request for pecuniary liability made in the field of Tax on Retail Sales of Certain Hydrocarbons on the basis that this was a case of pecuniary liability of the legislating state, albeit with the distinctive feature of the intervention of the province, with the Provincial Law in question having been passed in the absence of authority over the regulation of the tax. The ruling division thus concludes that the legal principle emanating from the Supreme Court’s ruling of December 5, 2012 is applicable, which exempts the provincial administration acting as respondent from attributable liability, on the understanding that the causal relationship of the damages caused by the application of the tax corresponds solely and exclusively to the State Administration.