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U.S. Supreme Court

International Shoe Co. v. Shartel, 279 U.S. 429 (1929)

International Shoe Company v. Shartel

No. 579

Argued April 25, 1929

Decided May 13, 1929

279 U.S. 429


1. In assessing an annual franchise tax upon foreign and domestic corporations, on the basis of the value of outstanding capital stock employed in business within the state, the amount of the tax against a corporation having shares of stock without nominal or par value may be ascertained by assigning a specific value to such shares and applying to it the rate applicable to the par-value stock, and a statute so providing does not operate as a denial of the equal protection of the laws. P. 279 U. S. 432.

2. This method does not operate to tax the property or franchise of a foreign corporation without the state, even though the value so assigned to its nonpar shares that are apportioned to the state exceed their present worth or the present value of its assets within the state. Giving to the shares a specified value by which the tax is measured only affects the rate of tax on the privilege taxed . P. 279 U. S. 432. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 279 U. S. 430

3. A franchise tax imposed on a corporation, foreign or domestic, for the privilege of doing a local business, if apportioned to business done or property owned within the state, is not invalid under the commerce clause merely because a part of the property or capital included in computing the tax is used by it in interstate commerce. P. 279 U. S. 433.

4. The Constitution of Missouri, § 28, Art. IV, which provides that " no bill . . . shall contain more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title," is not violated by the Stock Corporation Act of 1921, the title of which describes it as "regulating" corporations having nonpar stock and as "prescribing the method of determining . . . the capital of corporations" issuing such shares, although § 12 of the Act operates, by reference to the Franchise Tax Law, to change the tax on corporations having nonpar stock. P. 279 U. S. 434.

5. The purpose of this constitutional provision is to prevent the inclusion of incongruous and unrelated matters in the same measure and to guard against inadvertence, stealth, and fraud in legislation. It is sufficiently complied with when the title of an Act indicates the subject so as to give notice of the general character of the legislation, without entering into minute details. Id.

29 F.2d 604, affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of a district court of three judges denying an interlocutory injunction to restrain state officials from levying and collecting franchise taxes on the plaintiff corporation. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 279 U. S. 431

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