Anglo-Chilean Nitrate Sales Corp v. Alabama - 288 U.S. 218 (1933)
U.S. Supreme Court
Anglo-Chilean Nitrate Sales Corp v. Alabama, 288 U.S. 218 (1933)
Anglo-Chilean Nitrate Sales Corp v. Alabama
Argued January 19, 1933
Decided February 6, 1933
288 U.S. 218
1. A foreign corporation whose sole business in a state consists in landing, storing and selling in the original packages goods imported by it from abroad cannot constitutionally be subjected by the state to an annual "franchise" tax on the doing of such business measured by the value of the goods on hand. Pp. 288 U. S. 221, 288 U. S. 229.
2. The tax is repugnant to both the imports clause and the commerce clause of the Constitution. P. 288 U. S. 225.
3. The tax under Alabama Gen.Laws, 1917, No. 163, § 54, as construed by the supreme court of the state, is a tax on the doing of business, as distinguished from a tax on the authorization, right, or privilege to do business, and is invalid, under the above-stated principle, as applied to the facts of this case. P. 288 U. S. 223.
4. The fact that the foreign corporation qualified to do business in Alabama does not sustain the tax. P. 288 U. S. 224.
5. The power of a state to withhold from a foreign corporation permission to exercise its franchise to do business therein does not enable it, when granting the privilege, to burden by taxation the foreign commerce carried on by the corporation within the state. P. 288 U. S. 228.
225 Ala. 141, 142 So. 87, reversed.
Appeal from a judgment sustaining a tax assessment, and reversing a judgment to the contrary, in a suit by the Nitrate Company to set the tax aside.