The state law that triggered Idaho's short-lived "border war" with surrounding states is unconstitutional, the Idaho Supreme Court has ruled.

On a 3-2 decision, the court struck down a law the state used in an attempt to collect Idaho income tax from Burlington Northern railroaders passing through northern Idaho's Panhandle from Washington to Montana or the other way.The majority held that to be an improper attempt by one state to tax citizens of another because there was little connection with Idaho as the railroaders passed through the state.

Justices Robert Huntley and Stephen Bistline dissented, upholding a state effort starting in 1983 to collect the taxes.

The Legislature already has dealt with the problem, under threats of retalitory legislation from surrounding states.