Dane v. Jackson
256 U.S. 589 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Dane v. Jackson, 256 U.S. 589 (1921)

Dane v. Jackson

No. 720

Argued April 15, 1921

Decided June 1, 1921

256 U.S. 589

Syllabus

1. This Court cannot revise the taxing systems of the states in an attempt to produce a more just distribution of the burdens of taxation than that arrived at by the state legislatures. P. 256 U. S. 598.

2. A state tax law, to be in conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment, must propose, or clearly result in, such flagrant and palpable inequality between the burden imposed and the benefit received as to amount to the arbitrary taking of property without compensation. P. 256 U. S. 598.

3. In Massachusetts, the state and local taxes on real estate, tangible personal property and polls are laid and collected by the respective municipal subdivisions, each paying its quota to the state, but intangible personal property has been largely exempted from local taxation, and the revenue therefrom is derived through a uniform income tax, laid and collected directly by the state, and is distributed to the subdivisions not in proportion to the amounts of it contributed from each, but under a plan whereby, in increasing percentages through a series of years, and thereafter in its entirety, it is to be divided among them annually in proportion to the amounts of their respective state taxes, based on real estate, tangible personal property and polls. (Gen. Acts 1919, c. 314.)

Held:

(1) That this plan of distribution, part of a complex scheme designed to correct inequalities and prevent evasion, cannot be interfered with, as in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, upon the ground that, in operation, it returns to the plaintiff's town less income tax than he and its other inhabitants pay, and distributes the overplus to other subdivisions which may elect to use it for their local purposes not beneficial to those who paid it. P. 256 U. S. 569.

(2) It is to be presumed that the moneys so distributed will be devoted to lawful public uses. P. 256 U. S. 601.

129 N.E. 606 affirmed.

The case is stated in the opinion, post,256 U. S. 594.

Page 256 U. S. 594

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