Bethlehem Motors Corp. v. Flynt - 256 U.S. 421 (1921)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bethlehem Motors Corp. v. Flynt, 256 U.S. 421 (1921)
Bethlehem Motors Corporation v. Flynt
Submitted March 22, 1921
Decided June 1, 1921
256 U.S. 421
A North Carolina statute (Laws 1917, c. 231) provided that every manufacturer of automobiles engaged in the business of selling them in the state must pay a license tax of $500 before selling or offering for sale, and made like requirement of every person or corporation there engaged in selling automobiles of a manufacturer who had not paid such tax, but further provided that, if an officer or representative of such manufacturer should file a sworn statement showing that at least three-fourths of the entire assets of the manufacturer were invested in bonds of the state or its municipalities or in property therein situate and returned for taxation, the license tax should be reduced to $100. As applied to two corporations of other states which made automobiles outside of North Carolina and a third which distributed them there through local agencies to which the automobiles were consigned for sale,
(1) That, assuming the corporations were doing business in North Carolina and were subject to her jurisdiction, the statute worked a discrimination against them, contrary to the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 256 U. S. 424.
(2) That, without such assumption, it discriminated against their products, in violation of the commerce clause. P. 256 U. S. 426.
178 N.Car. 399 reversed.
Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of North Carolina sustaining a state license tax in a suit to restrain its enforcement. The facts are stated in the opinion.