VIRGINIA V. IMPERIAL COAL CO., 293 U. S. 15 (1934)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Virginia v. Imperial Coal Co., 293 U.S. 15 (1934)

Virginia v. Imperial Coal Co.

No. 16

Argued October 12, 1934

Decided November 5, 1934

293 U.S. 15


1. Where the highest court of a State, confronted with the two questions whether a state property tax is invalid under the state taxing statutes and whether the property is immune under the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution, prefers to rest its judgment avoiding the assessment explicitly and exclusively on the federal ground, the case is within the jurisdiction of this Court under 28 U.S.C. § 344(b). P. 293 U. S. 16.

2. Intangible property of a corporation consisting of money on hand at the place of its principal office in the State that created it and the excess of its bills and accounts receivable there over its bills and accounts payable has its situs for property taxation in that State. P. 293 U. S. 19.

3. The facts that such intangible property is employed wholly in interstate commerce and that the owner has no real or tangible personal property in the State do not exempt the intangible property from a nondiscriminatory property tax by the State. P. 293 U. S. 19.

4. Cases in which state taxes on the privilege of doing an interstate business were avoided as directly burdening interstate commerce or touching property beyond the jurisdiction of the State are inapplicable to a nondiscriminatory ad valorem tax on property used in interstate commerce within the taxing jurisdiction, for such property taxation affects interstate commerce only incidentally. P. 293 U. S. 20.

161 Va. 718, 736; 167 S.E. 268, 172 S.E. 927, reversed.

Certiorari, 292 U.S. 619, to review a judgment avoiding a state tax assessment for conflict with the commerce clause of the Federal Constitution. The case arose upon the application of the taxpayer to the state court of first instance for correction of the assessment and exoneration from the tax. Judgment for the taxpayer was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeals on a writ of error sued out by the State. chanrobles.com-red

Page 293 U. S. 16