Pullman Co. v. Knott - 235 U.S. 23 (1914)
U.S. Supreme Court
Pullman Co. v. Knott, 235 U.S. 23 (1914)
Pullman Company v. Knott
Nos. 383, 384
Argued October 21, 1914
Decided November 2, 1914
235 U.S. 23
The constitution of the state is not taken up into the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Burt v. Smith, 203 U. S. 129.
A state tax will not be upset under the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment upon hypothetical or unreal possibilities if good upon facts as they are. Keokee Consolidated Coke Co. v. Taylor, 234 U. S. 224.
Quaere whether a classification of sleeping and parlor car companies excluding railroad companies operating their own sleeping and parlor
cars is so arbitrary as to be unconstitutional under the equal protection provision of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The provision in the statute involved in this case that the proper state officer fix the amount of gross receipts on which the tax shall be based in case the party subject to the tax shall fail to make a report of the actual gross receipts as required by the statute held not a deprivation of property without due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment as denying an opportunity to be heard.
The court in this case declines to overthrow a state taxing statute on the ground of its invalidity under the state constitution as the decisions of the state court sustaining similar statutes are apparently broad enough to cover this statute, even though there may be possible distinctions between it and the statutes involved in the other cases. Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Garrett, 231 U. S. 298.
The statutes of Florida of 1907 and 1913 imposing taxes on sleeping and parlor car companies held not unconstitutional under the federal or the state constitution.
The facts, which involve the constitutionality of a statute of Florida taxing sleeping car companies, are stated in the opinion.