Blackstone v. Miller - 188 U.S. 189 (1903)
U.S. Supreme Court
Blackstone v. Miller, 188 U.S. 189 (1903)
Blackstone v. Miller
Argued January 5-6, 1903
Decided January 26, 1903
188 U.S. 189
Where a deposit made by a citizen of Illinois in a trust company in the City of New York remains there fourteen months, the property is delayed within the jurisdiction of New York long enough to justify the finding of the state court that it was not in transitu in such a sense as to withdraw it from the power of the state if it were otherwise taxable, even though the depositor intended to withdraw the funds for investment. Under the laws of New York, such deposit is subject to the transfer tax, notwithstanding that the whole succession had been taxed in Illinois, including this deposit.
The fact that two states, dealing each with its own law of succession, both of which have to be invoked by the person claiming rights, have taxed the right which they respectively confer gives no ground for complaint on constitutional grounds.
Power over the person of the debtor confers jurisdiction, and a state has an equal right to impose a succession tax on debts owed by its citizens as upon tangible assets found within the state at the time of the death. Where a state law imposing a tax upon transfer is in force before the funds come within the state, the tax does not impair the obligation of any contract, deny full faith or credit to a judgment taxing the inheritance in another state, or deprive the executrix and legatees of the decedent of any privilege or immunity as citizens of the taxing state, nor is it contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment.
The case is stated in the opinion of the Court.