Metcalf & Eddy v. Mitchell
269 U.S. 514 (1926)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Metcalf & Eddy v. Mitchell, 269 U.S. 514 (1926)

Metcalf & Eddy v. Mitchell

Nos. 183 and 376

Submitted November 30, 1925

Decided January 11, 1926

269 U.S. 514

Syllabus

1. Upon a writ of error to the district court based on a constitutional question, the jurisdiction of this Court is not limited to that question, but extends to the whole case. P. 269 U. S. 518.

2. A consulting engineer engaged as such by a state or local subdivision for work not permanent or continuous in character on public water supply and sewage disposal projects, whose duties are prescribed by his contract and who takes no oath of office and is free to accept other, concurrent employment, is neither an officer nor an employee within the meaning of § 201(a) of the War Revenue Act of 1917, exempting from income tax the compensation or fees of officers and employees under any state or local subdivision thereof. P. 269 U. S. 519.

3. The constitutional limitation forbidding the federal government and the state to tax each other's agencies must receive a practical

Page 269 U. S. 515

construction permitting each government to function with the minimum of interference from the other. P. 269 U. S. 523.

4. One who is not an officer or employee of a state does not establish exemption from federal income tax merely by showing that his income was received as compensation for service rendered under contract with the state when it does not appear that the tax impairs in any substantial manner his ability to discharge his obligations to the state or the ability of the state or its subdivisions to procure the services of private individuals to aid them in their undertakings. P. 269 U. S. 524.

299 F. 812, affirmed.

Error to review a judgment of the district court in a suit brought against a former collector to recover money paid under protest as income tax. The judgment allowed some of the items claimed and rejected others. Both sides sued out writs of error. That of the collector (No. 376) was not pressed at the argument in this Court, and was dismissed.

Page 269 U. S. 518

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