Motor Vehicle Sales Tax In Minnesota
The statutes at issue in this case govern taxation on the sale of motor vehicles, personal property and the transfer of motor vehicles as follows.
Under Minn. Stat. 297B.02, subd. 1, the State of Minnesota imposes a tax "on the purchase price of any motor vehicle purchased or acquired. . ." the terms "purchased" or "acquired" are defined as "any transfer of title of any motor vehicle, whether absolutely or conditionally, for a consideration in money or by exchange or barter for any purpose other than resale in the regular course of business." Minn. Stat. 297B.01, subd. 7(a).
Minn. Stat. 168A governs the transfer of motor vehicles. Under Minn. Stat. 168A.01, subd. 13 an "owner" of a motor vehicle "means a person, other than a secured party, having the property in or title to a vehicle.
The term includes a person entitled to the use and possession of a vehicle subject to a security interest in another person, but excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security."
The Minnesota Supreme Court has found that while rules of registration of automobiles under state law is prima facie evidence of ownership, it is not conclusive and may be rebutted by evidence of the intention of the parties. Macioch v. Wagner, 270 Minn. 571, 577, 134 N.W.2d 591, 595 (1965).