Panhandle Oil Co. v. Mississippi ex Rel. Knox
277 U.S. 218 (1928)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Panhandle Oil Co. v. Mississippi ex Rel. Knox, 277 U.S. 218 (1928)

Panhandle Oil Company v. Mississippi ex Rel. Knox

No. 288

Argued March 5, 1928

Decided May 14, 1928

277 U.S. 218

ERROR TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSISSIPPI

Syllabus

1. A state tax imposed on dealers in gasoline for the privilege of selling, and measured at so many cents per gallon of gasoline sold, is void under the federal Constitution as applied to sales to instrumentalities of the United States, such as the Coast Guard Fleet and a Veterans' Hospital. P. 277 U. S. 222.

2. The substance and legal effect is to tax the sale, and thus burden and tax the United States, exacting tribute on its transactions for the support of the state. Id.

3. Such an exaction infringes the right of the dealer to have the constitutional independence of the United States in respect of such purchases remain untrammeled. Id.

147 Miss. 663 reversed.

Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Mississippi sustaining a suit brought by the State of Mississippi to recover taxes assessed on sales of gasoline made by the defendant, plaintiff in error.

Page 277 U. S. 220

MR. JUSTICE BUTLER delivered the opinion of the Court.

Chapter 116 of the Laws of Mississippi of 1922 provided that

"any person engaged in the business of distributor of gasoline or retail dealer in gasoline shall pay for the privilege of engaging in such business, an excise tax of 1

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