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U.S. Supreme Court

Maricopa County v. Valley Nat'l Bank, 318 U.S. 357 (1943)

Maricopa County v. Valley National Bank of Phoenix

No. 449

Argued February 2, 1943

Decided March 1, 1943

318 U.S. 357


1. Under the Constitution, Congress has exclusive authority to determine whether and to what extent its instrumentalities, such as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, shall be immune from state taxation. P. 318 U. S. 361.

2. The Act of March 20, 1936, provided that shares of preferred stock of national banks "heretofore or hereafter acquired by" the Reconstruction Finance Corporation

"shall not, so long as Reconstruction Finance Corporation shall continue to own the same, be subject to any taxation . . . by any State, county, municipality, or local taxing authority, whether now, heretofore, or hereafter imposed, levied, or assessed, and whether for a past, present, or future taxing period."


(1) In withdrawing pro tanto the consent which, by R.S. § 5219, it had previously given to state taxation of shares of stock of national banks, Congress did not invade powers reserved to the States by the Tenth Amendment. P. 318 U. S. 361. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 318 U. S. 358

(2) As applied to taxes in respect of which liens had attached prior to its passage, the Act operates as a withdrawal of the consent of the United States to be sued. P. 318 U. S. 362.

A proceeding against property in which the United States has an interest is a suit against the United States.

(3) The prior grant of the privilege to tax the shares was analogous to a gratuity or bounty, and the withdrawal of the privilege invaded no rights protected by the Fifth Amendment. P. 318 U. S. 362.

130 F.2d 356 affirmed.

Certiorari, 317 U.S. 618, to review the affirmance of judgments granting injunctions in two suits to enjoin the collection of state and local taxes.

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