Fidelity & Deposit Co. v. Pennsylvania
240 U.S. 319 (1916)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Fidelity & Deposit Co. v. Pennsylvania, 240 U.S. 319 (1916)

Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland v. Pennsylvania

No. 114

Argued January 6, 1916

Decided February 21, 1916

240 U.S. 319

Syllabus

A state may not directly and materially hinder the exercise of the constitutional powers of the United States by demanding, in opposition to the will of Congress, that a federal instrumentality pay a tax for performing its functions.

Mere contracts, however, between it and the United States do not render a private corporation an essential governmental agency and confer freedom from state control.

The Act of August 13, 1894, c. 282, 28 Stat. 279, allowing certain corporations to be accepted as surety does not endow them with power, or create them instrumentalities of the United States, and relieve them from compliance with the laws of, or payment of the lawful taxes in, the states in which they transact their business.

The statute of Pennsylvania of June 28, 1895, imposing taxes on premiums collected by certain classes of insurance companies is not, as applied to premiums on bonds of United States government officials given by surety companies complying with the Act of 1894, unconstitutional as an interference with the powers of the federal government by taxing an instrumentality thereof.

244 Pa.St. 67 affirmed.

The facts, which involve the right of a state to tax a foreign corporation doing business within the state on premiums received for bonds of surety required of its officers and others by the United States, are stated in the opinion.

Page 240 U. S. 320

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