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UNITED STATES V. PERKINS, 163 U. S. 625 (1896)

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U.S. Supreme Court

United States v. Perkins, 163 U.S. 625 (1896)

United States v. Perkins

No. 422

Submitted May 8, 1898

Decided May 26, 1898

163 U.S. 625


Personal property, bequeathed by will to the United States, is subject to an inheritance tax under state law.

Under the statutes of New York, the United States are not a corporation, exempted from such inheritance tax.

This was a writ of error to an order of the general term of the supreme court affirming an order of the Surrogate's Court of Suffolk County assessing an inheritance tax of $3,964.23 upon the personal property of William W. Merriam, bequeathed by him to the United States.

It appeared that Merriam, who was a resident of Suffolk County, died on January 30, 1889, leaving a last will and testament by which he devised and bequeathed all his estate, both real and personal, to the United States government. Upon the petition of the executor, an appraiser was appointed, and upon his report, the surrogate fixed the tax at the above amount. On appeal to the general term of the supreme court, the order of the surrogate's court was affirmed, and upon a further appeal to the Court of Appeals, the order of the supreme court was affirmed and the case remanded to that court for final judgment, which was entered against the United States March 31, 1894, whereupon the United States and the executor joined in suing out this writ of error. Defendant in error is the County Treasurer of Suffolk County.

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