Cumberland Oil Co. v. Board of Revision - 284 U.S. 23 (1931)
U.S. Supreme Court
Cumberland Oil Co. v. Board of Revision, 284 U.S. 23 (1931)
Cumberland Oil Co. v. Board of Revision of
Tax Assessments in Greene County, Pennsylvania
Argued October 16, 19, 1931
Decided November 23, 1931
284 U.S. 23
1. A federal question which was entertained by a state supreme court and decided on a petition for reargument is reviewable here. Jud.Code, § 237(b). P. 284 U. S. 24.
2. Discrimination in state ad valorem taxation, resulting from intentional, systematic undervaluation of some property as compared with the valuation of other property of the same class in other ownership, violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, even though the property so discriminated against be not assessed higher than its fair market value, or higher than a percentage of fair market value adopted as a uniform basis in making the assessments. Pp. 284 U. S. 25, 284 U. S. 28.
The property considered was virgin coal, of uniform quality and thickness, underlying the taxing district. The taxing authorities assigned a uniform value per acre to all of it, notwithstanding that those lands which were near to a river were, because of access to transportation, etc., several times more valuable than those that were farther away. The assessment was made on the uniform basis of 50% of the values assigned.
302 Pa. 179, 152 A. 755, reversed.
Certiorari 283 U.S. 81813, to review judgments which affirmed the dismissal, by the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania, of appeals from tax assessments.