Following the ruling of a superior court judge last week, the state may soon cough up $34 million in taxes collected from used-vehicle sales between individuals.

Cobb [County] Superior Judge Mary E. Staley said that the levy, which went into effect 16 months ago, is illegal because it was imposed without the state Legislature's approval.

Last Friday, Gov. Zell Miller said he would leave it up to Attorney General Michael Bowers to decide whether a refund of collections from 150,000 people is in order.

Miller suspended collection of the tax in October, responding to a class action lawsuit that had been filed by Daniel W. Tedder, an engineering professor at Georgia Technical University.

Bowers could not be reached for comment.

The "appellate courts of this state have consistently construed the Georgia Sales and Use Tax Act as not covering ~casual sales,' i.e. sales by persons not in the business of selling the article to persons not purchasing for resale," Staley wrote in her ruling.

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