Memphis & Charleston Ry. Co. v. Pace
282 U.S. 241 (1931)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Memphis & Charleston Ry. Co. v. Pace, 282 U.S. 241 (1931)

Memphis & Charleston Railway Company v. Pace

No. 8

Argued March 5, 1930

Reargued October 29, 1930

Decided January 5, 1931

282 U.S. 241

Syllabus

1. Mississippi road tax sustained as applied to a railroad company having part of its line and other property within the road district. Pp. 282 U. S. 245, 282 U. S. 249.

2. Whether a tax for the construction of roads shall be statewide or be confined to the county or local district wherein the improvement is made, and whether it shall be laid generally on all property, or all real property, within the taxing unit, or only on real property specially benefited, are matters within the discretion of the state which are not controlled by either the due process clause or the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 282 U. S. 245.

Page 282 U. S. 242

3. But, however the tax may be laid, if it be palpably arbitrary, and therefore a plain abuse of power, it falls within the condemnation of the due process clause, and if it be manifestly and unreasonably discriminatory, it falls within the condemnation of the equal protection clause. P. 282 U. S. 246.

4. Where the tax is laid generally on all property, or all real property, within the taxing unit, it does not become arbitrary or discriminatory merely because it is spread over such property on an ad valorem basis; nor, where the tax is thus general and ad valorem, does its validity depend upon the receipt of some special benefit, as distinguished from the general benefits to the community. P. 282 U. S. 246.

154 Miss. 536 affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment affirming the dismissal of a bill to enjoin the collection of a tax which was to be applied in making a payment on bonds issued by a road district.

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