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U.S. Supreme Court

Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corp., 276 U.S. 575 (1928)

Shaw v. Gibson-Zahniser Oil Corporation

No. 234

Argued February 29, March 1, 1928

Decided April 9, 1928

276 U.S. 575


Land belonging to a non-Indian citizen of Oklahoma and subject to state, county, and municipal taxation, was purchased October 24, chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 276 U. S. 576

1915, under supervision of a county court and the Secretary of the Interior for a minor, full-blood Creek Indian with moneys derived as royalties from a departmental lease of his restricted allotment. The deed, as required by the Secretary and the court, provided that the land should not be alienated or leased during the lifetime of the grantee, prior to April 26, 1931, without the consent and approval of the Secretary. The land was let for oil and gas exploitation under a departmental lease, and a tax was levied upon the leaseholders, under the state law, measured by a percentage of the gross value of oil and gas produced, less the royalty interest of the Indian owner. Held, in response to questions from the circuit court of appeals:

1. That the Secretary of the Interior, when the land was purchased, had no power to exempt it from such taxation. P. 276 U. S. 577.

2. The tax was not a forbidden tax upon a federal instrumentality. Id.

Response to questions certified by the circuit court of appeals, concerning a judgment of the district court in favor of the above-named corporation in an action to recover money paid under protest as state taxes.

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