Storaasli v. Minnesota - 283 U.S. 57 (1931)
U.S. Supreme Court
Storaasli v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 57 (1931)
Storaasli v. Minnesota
Submitted February 25, 1931
Decided March 23, 1931
283 U.S. 57
1. When the question is involved in a claim of right under the Federal Constitution, this Court must decide for itself whether a state tax is a property or a privilege tax. P. 283 U. S. 62.
2. A Minnesota statute requiring registration of motor vehicles, display of number plates, etc., provides that the vehicles shall be privileged to use the public streets and highways upon payment of specified annual rates, which are in lieu of all other taxes thereon except wheelage taxes by municipalities, and which are measured generally by cost of vehicle less allowance for depreciation, a minimum, however, being fixed for cars of certain weights. Held that the tax is a privilege tax. P. 283 U. S. 62.
3. As applied to an army officer, claiming to be a nonresident of the state, who resides on a federal military reservation in Minnesota and has registered his car and acquired a license and license plates therefor under and pursuant to regulations enforced on the reservation by its commandant, the tax does not violate the equal protection clause either (a) because the statute exempts residents from payment of property taxes on their cars or (b) because it allows residents of other states or countries, whose cars have been registered at home and bear the home license plates, to operate them on Minnesota highways for a time without paying the tax. P. 283 U. S. 62.
180 Minn. 241, 230 N.W. 572, affirmed.
Appeal from a judgment sustaining a motor vehicle tax. The proceeding was begun by a notice of the tax with demand for payment. Judgment was entered on this and the taxpayer's answer.