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GATX Terminals Corporation (GATX) operates two facilities on the Houston ship channel, referred to as “tank farms,” where petroleum and petrochemical products are unloaded from transport vehicles and stored in large, steel tanks until they are ready to be loaded again for distribution. The Comptroller assessed taxes against GATX for services performed at its Galena Park facility during audit periods from April 1989 through August 1992, and from September 1992 through June 1996. GATX sought a redetermination of the taxes and a refund from the Comptroller. See Tex. Tax Code Ann. �� 111.009, .105 (West 2001). After the Comptroller denied the request, GATX paid the deficiency under protest and subsequently filed suit in district court seeking a refund. See id. �� 112.051, .052, .151.

The Tax Code designates “real property repair and remodeling” as a taxable service. Id. � 151.0101(a)(13) (West 2002). The Comptroller has implemented a rule which describes the types of services that are subject to tax and classifies as non-taxable two activities: “maintenance” and “new construction.” See 34 Tex. Admin. Code � 3.357 (2001) (Comptroller of Public Accounts, Labor Relating to Nonresidential Real Property Repair, Remodeling, Restoration, Maintenance, New Construction, & Residential Property) (“Rule 3.357″). GATX argued to the Comptroller and the district court that repainting its tanks is non-taxable maintenance, and that work performed to bring the facility into compliance with environmental regulations is non-taxable new construction. The district court tried the issues de novo. See Tex. Tax Code Ann. � 112.054 (West 2001).

After awarding certain refund amounts stipulated to by the parties, the district court denied the balance of GATX’s claims for a refund. *fn2 GATX presents compelling arguments for why the disputed services should not be classified as taxable repair and remodeling. After closely reviewing the definitions set forth in the statute and in the Comptroller’s rules and decisions, however, we find that the evidence is sufficient to uphold the trial court’s judgment denying the refunds.

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