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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:During the tax period of Jan. 1, 1994, and March 31, 1997, USA Waste had contracts for waste removal with several commercial accounts. Whenever a customer complained about waste that would inevitably get spilled on the customer’s property, USA would hired AA Mobile Steam Cleaning to claim the spill. The state comptroller assessed a sales tax for USA’s purchase of these steam cleaning services. USA paid the tax under protest, then filed suit under Tax Code �112.052, arguing that it was entitled to a refund of the sales tax because it resold the steam cleaning services to its customers. The sale-for-resale exemption is found at Tax Code ��151.006(1) and -.302(a). The trial court granted the state’s motion for summary judgment and denied USA’s motion. Both parties agreed that the steam cleaning services were taxable, they just disagreed over USA’s responsibility for those taxes. USA now appeals. HOLDING:Affirmed. Section 151.006(1) defines a “sale for resale” as a sale of “tangible personal property or a taxable service to a purchaser who acquires the property or service for the purpose of reselling it . . . in the normal course of business in the form or condition in which it is acquired or as an attachment to or integral part of other tangible personal property or taxable service.” USA argues that 34 Admin. Code �3.356(a)(7) allows for the sale or real property services when the service is an integral part of a taxable business; cleaning up spills on customer property is an integral part of its business, USA continues. An affidavit from someone in the operations department stated that cleaning up spills was merely a completion of the job the customers hired USA to do. The court notes, however, that cleaning was ordered only when spills occurred, but that not all spills were ordered cleaned. Spills only occurred some of the time, and cleaning was ordered usually only when a customer complained. The court agrees with the comptroller that the steam cleaning service is one USA chooses to perform to keep customers happy; it is not an essential part of its waste removal service. The court also points out that USA doesn’t actually re-bill its customers for the steam cleaning services and that USA’s contracts with its customers does not include reference to steam cleaning. OPINION:Patterson, J.; Law, C.J., Patterson and Puryear, JJ.

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