Senior v. Braden - 295 U.S. 422 (1935)
U.S. Supreme Court
Senior v. Braden, 295 U.S. 422 (1935)
Senior v. Braden
Argued April 9, 10, 1935
Decided May 20, 1935
295 U.S. 422
1. Where the validity of a state tax is challenged under the Federal Constitution, this Court must determine for itself the nature and incidence of the tax. P. 295 U. S. 429.
2. A resident of Ohio owned transferable trust certificates showing him to be a beneficiary under separate deeds of trust on several parcels of land, some situated within and some outside of the state. Each certificate declared him to be the owner of a specified fractional interest in the property held in the trust under which it was issued. Each trustee was bound by his declaration of trust to hold and manage the property for the use and benefit of certificate owners; to collect and distribute among them the rents, and, in case of sale, to make pro rata distribution of the proceeds. Each trustee held only one parcel of land, and, in the management thereof, was free from control by the beneficiaries. Each parcel had been assessed in the name of the legal owner or lessee for local real estate taxes, without deduction on account of any interest of the certificate owners. Held, the attempt of Ohio to subject the beneficial interests represented by the certificates to a tax imposed on "investments" and other intangible property, measured by a percentage of the income yield -- investments being so defined by the statute as to include equitable interest in land and rents divided into shares evidenced by transferable certificates -- is unconstitutional both in respect of such interests in land outside of the state and of those in land within the state. Pp. 295 U. S. 428, 295 U. S. 433.
128 Oh.St. 597 reversed.
Appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio upholding the validity of an application of the state intangible property tax. For decisions of the lower state courts, see 48 Ohio App. 255, 30 Ohio N.P. 147.