gavel_3.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ A Florida appellate court says the state cannot charge a use tax on “goodwill'' repairs automakers sometimes pay for after regular warranties expire.

A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal on Wednesday upheld a trial judge who rejected the state's attempt to collect more than $50 million from General Motors.

The Department of Revenue wanted to tax more than $293 million GM spent from 1991 through 2007 in Florida on more than 400,000 post-warranty repairs made on a case-by-case basis.

Ordinary warranty repairs are not taxed because they are part of the purchase price, which is taxed when customers buy their vehicles.

Revenue officials argued the goodwill repairs are not part of the purchase price. The court disagreed, citing similar rulings by Michigan and Ohio courts.