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U.S. Supreme Court

Federal Compress & Warehouse Co. v. McLean, 291 U.S. 17 (1934)

Federal Compress & Warehouse Co. v. McLean

No. 166

Argued December 11, 13, 1933

Decided January 8, 1934

291 U.S. 17


1. Cotton produced locally, shipped into a warehouse, and there held at the exclusive disposition of its owners, the holders of negotiable warehouse receipts, retains its local status, although, in the usual course, the owners will ultimately order that it be compressed and delivered to a rail carrier for shipment to ultra-state destinations of their selection. P. 291 U. S. 21.

2. The business of storing and compressing the cotton in such circumstances is local, and a nondiscriminatory state tax upon it is consistent with the commerce clause of the Constitution. P. 291 U. S. 21. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 291 U. S. 18

3. The fact that a contract between the warehouseman and the interstate rail carrier by which the cotton has been brought to storage and by which, in the ordinary course, it ultimately will be transported beyond the state at a single rate from point of origin to point of destination designates the warehouseman as the carrier's agent, and the warehouse as the carrier's depot, cannot convert what is a local business into an interstate business. P. 291 U. S. 22.

4. Licensing of a warehouse under the United states Warehousing Act does not make of it a federal instrumentality or withdraw its business from state taxation. P. 291 U. S. 22.

5. The mere extension of control over a business by the National Government does not withdraw it from a local tax which presents no obstacle to the execution of the national policy. P. 291 U. S. 23.

166 Miss. 739, 147 So. 325, affirmed.

Appeal from the affirmance of a judgment in favor of a tax collector, based on a directed verdict, in an action seeking to recover moneys collected by him as privilege taxes.

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